Take Five With Jim Brimer

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Jim Brimer: I am Jim Brimer, a jazz clarinetist that leads a group called Jim's Jazz Band which plays traditional jazz residing in Fort Worth, Texas. Brian Harvey of EuroClub de Jazz in the United Kingdom says "The Jim of Jim's Jazz Band is the highly experienced and very talented clarinetist Jim Brimer, who's been around the Texan jazz scene for many years. Together with the other players of his band he plays down home straight-ahead traditional jazz".

Coming up in November, 2009, Jim's Jazz Band will be performing for The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. In a review for EuroClub de Jazz, Brian Harvey says "They're such a good band—lively, inventive, and exciting at times and with an excellent repertoire of good old oldies. To summarize, this is an unpretentious happy-sounding band that I'd be happy to spend an evening with."

Instrument(s): Clarinet

Teachers and/or influences? Pete Fountain, Allan Vache, Kenny Davern, Bob Wilber, Bob Krenkel, Woody Allen, Benny Goodman, Sidney Bechet and Johnny Dodds all helped me study the old jazz clarinet. However, I don't believe any of them knew that.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... It's funny, in the sixth grade, I was shown a picture of the clarinet and I knew then that I wanted to figure that horn out.

Your sound and approach to music: To copy the sound and licks of the famous jazz players is my approach to playing traditional jazz clarinet. However, the older I get and the more the copying of licks, the more it turns into my own style.

Your dream band: My ideal band would be a four-piece rhythm section including bass, drums, guitar, and piano. On top of that would be the clarinet. For the normal classic jazz style I would need the three-horn front line: trumpet, trombone and myself on clarinet.

Road story: Your best or worst experience: Best: Traveling to Washington D.C. with a great jazz band that performed for President Ronald Regan's Inaugural Ball. Worst: Playing in Dallas with another great jazz band, I broke my Pete Fountain glass mouthpiece.

The first Jazz album I bought was: I Love Paris, by Pete Fountain.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? I am helping to preserve the traditional jazz that started the American jazz scene.

How would you describe the state of jazz today? I believe jazz in general should take a step back a minute and analyze what's going on with jazz. I think bringing back some traditional chord progressions and traditional rhythms would help the direction.

About Jim Brimer
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