Bob Brookmeyer

Robert " Bob" Brookmeyer ( born December 19, 1929 in Kansas City, Missouri; † 15 December 2011) was an American jazz musician (trombone, piano ), arranger and composer.


Brookmeyer studied from 1947 to 1950 at the Conservatory in Kansas City. After his military service, he began his career in 1951 as a pianist with Tex Beneke. In 1952 he played with Louis Prima, Claude Thornhill, Terry Gibbs and Woody Herman and also started on the valve trombone to emerge. In 1953 he moved to Los Angeles and became an important figure of the West Coast jazz, until Stan Getz (At the Shrine, 1954), then in particular by replacing Chet Baker Gerry Mulligan piano in Wi- quartet ( 1954-1957 ). The formation occurred in 1954 at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, heard on the album Vogue Pleyel Concert. He also was part of the unusual Jimmy Giuffre Three (1957 /58) with Giuffres saxophone, Brook Meyers valve trombone, and Jim Hall's guitar.

At the same time Brookmeyer continued to work as a pianist and took in 1959 with a quartet with Bill Evans on a plate. Beginning of the 60s he was co-leader, arranger and trombonist with the Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band; 1961 to 1966, he led with Clark Terry Quintet, a relatively successful; In 1965 he was one of the founding members of the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra, he contributed numerous arrangements. From 1968 on, he worked as a studio musician on the U.S. West Coast and often played alongside well-known mainstream jazz musicians. Until 1980, he was musical director of the reorganized Lewis Big Band, for which he performed both as a soloist and still wrote very sophisticated arrangements.

End of the 80s Brookmeyer moved to Europe, where he continued to write and occasionally helped on the valve trombone when shooting.

Brookmeyer is considered the first notable jazz musicians on the valve trombone since Juan Tizol. As a pianist, he developed a percussive and dissonant style of play completely outside of the current jazz tradition.

In 2006 he received the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship.


"Every time he uses his instrument to his lips, a phrase from the quality of a jazz standards come out. When he solos, I would immediately get staff paper and write down what he plays. "

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