Sad to report the death on Thursday in Grantham, New Hampshire of popular valve trombonist, composer and educator, the superbly mellifluous Bob Brookmeyer, a few days short of his eighty-second birthday .
His work with Gerry Mulligan, Jimmy Giuffre and Clark Terry from the 1950’s onwards is an essential part of the history of the music, and he also leaves a massive legacy as influence and teacher of important composers of our time: Maria Schneider, John Hollenbeck, Darcy James Argue.
The clip above from the 1990’s with Jim Hall is a BBC recording from Bath. His last visit to the UK was unforgettable: as artist-in-residence at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in 2007. RIP.
I'll never forget seeing Bob Brookmeyer and Jim Hall tucked into the corner stage at the Dean Street Pizza Express, in its early days, just passing the tunes back and forth effortlessly, taking them for quietly esoteric spins, as the ideas flowed between them. Brookmeyer was re-emerging at the time, after well-documented difficulties, and rewarded the highest expectations of sheer excellence. One of the great duos.