Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bob Brookmeyer - The Blues - Hot and Cold

Bob Brookmeyer is one of those musicians that only seems to have a select group of admirers. He is the leading valve trombone player. In the early 1950s he belonged to the West Coast style jazz group with musicians like Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker. When Chet Baker left Gerry's pianoless quartet Bob took his place for some years. In the early 1960s he was one of the founders of the That Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra.

Bob Brookmeyer also played piano and got some popularity with a Bill Evans group in 1960.

I found myself an Verve LP ( 821 550-1) ( originally as MGV 8385) titled The Blues - Hot and Cold. This album was made in a period Bob was part of the Gerry Mulligan band as a musician and arranger. The members of the quartet are skilled musicians: Jimmy Rowles - an underestimated pianist, Buddy Clark on bass and Mel Lewis on drums.

At the recording session eight tunes were recorded and six are to be found on the album.
I liked the album that shows Bob in a good shape. The cover lines read: His considerable heat ( hot jazz ) as well as a superior melodic imagination and an overall sense of stucture. This album didn't become a hit, but as Nat Hentoff says
it contains no wasted choruses, no strain, no guerrila warfare inside the rhythm seciton or between the section and the hornman.

According to his web siteBob is still active as a composer and arranger. Listen to some tracks from
one of his last albums.

Bob Brookmeyer Quartet: Bob Brookmeyer (vtb) Jimmy Rowles (p) Buddy Clark (b) Mel Lewis (d)
Recorded Los Angeles, CA, June 16, 1960
( 23256-12 / They Say Falling in Love Is Wonderful - unissued )
23257-6 Hot and Cold Blues
23258-5 - On the Sunny Side of the Street
23259-7 - Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
23260-4 - Stompin' at the Savoy
( 23267 Like Be Good unissued )
23268-2 - Languid Blues
23269-7 - I Got Rhythm


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