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Boston Celebration: The Legacy of Bob Brookmeyer

Read "Boston Celebration: The Legacy of Bob Brookmeyer" reviewed by Doug Hall

Bob Brookmeyer: A Celebration Jordan Hall Boston, MA March 1, 2018The on-going celebration of New England Conservatory's 150th anniversary brought well deserved attention to the Jazz Studies and Contemporary Improvisation departments for the 2017-2018 performance season. On March 1st, at Jordan Hall, NEC presented a very special tribute celebration to the legacy of Bob Brookmeyer, the legendary jazz musician (valve trombonist, pianist) composer, arranger, conductor, teacher, performer and mentor to many jazz ...

BIG BAND REPORT

Bob Brookmeyer: Jack of All Trades, Master of Valves

Read "Bob Brookmeyer: Jack of All Trades, Master of Valves" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Bob Brookmeyer, a Renaissance man among jazz musicians who died December 15, 2011, four days before his eighty-second birthday, will be remembered as many things: composer, arranger, musician, educator, outspoken arbiter who brooked no nonsense and wasn't shy about letting others know when he believed they were not giving the music he loved the best they had to offer. What I remember best about Brookmeyer was the lithe, ever-swinging valve trombone that complemented such luminaries as Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Mosaic Select 9: Bob Brookmeyer

Read "Mosaic Select 9: Bob Brookmeyer" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Bob BrookmeyerMosaic Select 9 Mosaic Records Although he continues to be a valued jazz artist recording occasionally, the state of Bob Brookmeyer's early catalog until recently was inexplicably in a state of disarray. Of course, we still haven't seen CD reissues of such vintage Verve sides like The Blues, Hot and Cold or the Mercury set Jazz Is a Kick, but things have been looking up since the appearance of this new Select ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bob Brookmeyer and the New Art Orchestra: Spirit Music

Read "Spirit Music" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Clever title this, even though perchance unintended. Bob Brookmeyer (in his 76th year) and the impressive New Art Orchestra have recorded their fifth album, and first for ArtistShare, Spirit Music--in other words, the “Spirit of '76. Brookmeyer doesn't mention that in the liner notes, preferring to let others read between the lines and saying only that to circumvent “a routine that had developed [with the NAO] over the past ten years," he had “used a combination of new and recently ...

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Bob Brookmeyer New Art Orchestra: Get Well Soon

Read "Get Well Soon" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Get Well Soon is the third recording by the New Art Orchestra, an eighteen-piece ensemble formed nearly two decades ago in Lubeck, Germany, as a jazz component of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and overseen since its inception by the renowned American trombonist and composer, Bob Brookmeyer. Brookmeyer loves the NAO ("It has been my good fortune to become associated with an incredible group of people," he says. “They love what they do, they thrive on their friendships, and they give ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bob Brookmeyer: Stay Out of the Sun

Read "Stay Out of the Sun" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich

In valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer's biography, one can trace the map of jazz's history, both musical and personal. Brookmeyer has spent time in many of jazz's major ensembles, including Basie, Thornhill, Ellington and Lewis, and small groups, playing with Mulligan, Getz, Giuffre and Mingus. Along the way he has taken part in and contributed to the music's orchestral and instrumental innovations. He has also unfortunately experienced one of jazz's major tragedies: substance addiction, a disease that nearly cost him everything.

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

A Bob Brookmeyer Bonanza

Read "A Bob Brookmeyer Bonanza" reviewed by Elliott Simon

Turning 75 this year, valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer brought his New Art Orchestra to town last month at the IAJE and a “Battle of the Bands” at the Village Vanguard. He endures as a master of the “cool” and continues to produce musical permutations resulting in elaborate and complex compositions that are clear and pure: music, that is, well, “cool”. Island is co-led with a musician who is as respected as Brookmeyer, 74-year-old flugelhorn/trumpet player Kenny Wheeler. In addition to ...

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Bob Brookmeyer and Kenny Wheeler: Island

Read "Island" reviewed by Rex  Butters

Veterans Bob Brookmeyer and Kenny Wheeler explore shared sensibilities on Island, a collection that could have fit comfortably in Wheeler’s ECM catalogue, but instead spearheads the resuscitated Artists House label. Although they’ve not recorded together before, they set eachother up and finish eachother’s thoughts like a long married couple. The island in question seems more north Atlantic than Caribbean. While the program tends toward moody mid-tempo tunes, the high level of playing keeps monotony at bay.

The ...

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The Bob Brookmeyer New Art Orchestra: Waltzing with Zoe

Read "Waltzing with Zoe" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Spectacular. There’s no other way to describe “Seesaw,” the opening number on the second album by Bob Brookmeyer’s German–based New Art Orchestra. A shame the Grammy Awards don’t include one for best big–band composition (even though there is a ludicrous prize for “best Jazz solo”), as “Seesaw” would win the honor going away. The highest compliment this reviewer can pay Brookmeyer’s “dialogue between drums and band” is that it brought to mind some favorite themes (“Playground,” “Big Swing Face,” “555 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bob Brookmeyer: Plays Piano: Holiday

Read "Plays Piano: Holiday" reviewed by Dave Nathan

Being able to play more than one instrument is quite common in jazz, especially these days. Even moving between reed and horn is not unusual as Benny Carter, Jay Thomas and others have demonstrated. But moving from a trombone to a piano with sufficient confidence to make an album with the “second" instrument is more than a challenge, it's a remarkable feat. And an album that's more than 70 minutes long to boot! That's what valve trombonist and jazz icon ...

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Bob Brookmeyer with the Ed Partyka Jazz Orchestra: Madly Loving You

Read "Madly Loving You" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Kansas City–bred valve trombone master Bob Brookmeyer is top–billed on this handsomely conceived and superbly performed album because it was a gift from Ed Partyka’s Jazz Orchestra and a number of prominent composer / arrangers to Brookmeyer on his seventieth birthday in December 1999. Partyka, a Chicagoan who has lived since 1990 in Cologne, Germany, had taken part in Brookmeyer’s Jazz Composers’ Workshops in Cologne, was deeply influenced by them and sought to repay the debt by producing a big–band ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bob Brookmeyer: Electricity

Read "Electricity" reviewed by Douglas Payne

Electricity is another one of an infrequent series of recordings by Bob Brookmeyer, who used to pop up all over the place throughout the 1950s and 1960s. While he's always been rooted firmly in the mainstream (Gerry Mulligan, the Concert Jazz Band, the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra and his own records on Verve), Brookmeyer has also consistently approached creative music in unorthodox ways (his two-piano quartet with Bill Evans, and his trombone jazz samba records). His greatest gifts, ...