Bob Brookmeyer

Robert Edward "Bob" Brookmeyer (December 19, 1929 – December 15, 2011) was an American jazz valve trombonist, pianist, arranger, and composer. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Brookmeyer first gained widespread public attention as a member of Gerry Mulligan's quartet[2] from 1954 to 1957. He later worked with Jimmy Giuffre,[3] before rejoining Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band. He garnered 8 Grammy Award nominations during his lifetime.

Bob Brookmeyer
Brookmeyer (right) with Clark Terry at the Clearwater Jazz Festival, Florida, 1980s
Background information
Birth nameRobert Edward Brookmeyer
Born(1929-12-19)December 19, 1929
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
DiedDecember 15, 2011(2011-12-15) (aged 81)
New London, New Hampshire, U.S.[1]
GenresMainstream jazz
Cool jazz
West Coast jazz
Post bop
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, arranger, educator
InstrumentsValve trombone, piano
LabelsImpulse!, Mainstream, RCA, Verve
Associated actsGary Burton, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Jimmy Giuffre, Jim Hall, Gary McFarland, Gerry Mulligan, Lalo Schifrin, Clark Terry, The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Claude Thornhill, Zoot Sims


Brookmeyer was born on December 19, 1929 Kansas City, Missouri.[4] He was the only child of Elmer Edward Brookmeyer and Mayme Seifert.[1]

Brookmeyer began playing professionally when in his teens. He attended the Kansas City Conservatory of Music, but did not graduate. He played piano in big bands led by Tex Beneke and Ray McKinley, but concentrated on valve trombone from when he moved to the Claude Thornhill orchestra in the early 1950s. He was part of small groups led by Stan Getz, Jimmy Giuffre, and Gerry Mulligan in the 1950s. During the 1950s and 1960s Brookmeyer played in New York clubs, on television (including being part of the house band for The Merv Griffin Show), and on studio recordings, as well as arranging for Ray Charles and others.[1]

In the early 1960s Brookmeyer joined flugelhorn player Clark Terry in a band that achieved some success. In February 1965 Brookmeyer and Terry appeared together on BBC2's Jazz 625.[5]

Brookmeyer moved to Los Angeles in 1968 and became a full-time studio musician. He spent 10 years on the West Coast, and had a serious alcohol problem. After he overcame this, he returned to New York. Brookmeyer became musical director of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra in 1979, although he had not composed any music for a decade. Brookmeyer wrote for and performed with jazz groups in Europe from the early 1980s. He founded and ran a music school in the Netherlands, and taught at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and other institutions.[1]

In June 2005, Brookmeyer joined ArtistShare and announced a project to fund an upcoming third album featuring his New Art Orchestra. The resulting Grammy-nominated CD, titled Spirit Music, was released in 2006. Brookmeyer was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in the same year.[1] His eighth Grammy Award nomination was for an arrangement from the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra's album, Forever Lasting, shortly before his death.[1] That same album was also nominated in the 57th Annual Grammy Awards for the category of Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album; the CD was entirely made up of Brookmeyer's compositions.

Brookmeyer died on December 15, 2011, in New London, New Hampshire.[1][6]

Honors and awards

Grammy Awards (nominations)

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1960 Blues Suite', composed by Brookmeyer Best Arrangement Nominated
1965 The Power Of Positive Swinging, composed by Brookmeyer Best Instrumental Jazz Performance Nominated
1966 ABC Blues, composed by Brookmeyer Best Original Jazz Composition Nominated
1980 Skylark, arranged by Brookmeyer Best Instrumental Arrangement Nominated
2001 Impulsive! (Album) Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album Nominated
2004 Get Well Soon (Album) Large Jazz Ensemble Album Nominated
2006 Spirit Music (Album) Large Jazz Ensemble Album Nominated
2008 St. Louis Blues, arranged by Brookmeyer Best Instrumental Arrangement Nominated
2011 Nasty Dance, arranged by Brookmeyer Best Instrumental Arrangement Nominated


As leader/coleader

As sideman

With Chet Baker

  • 1954: Chet Baker sextet (pacific jazz records)

With Cannonball Adderley

With Manny Albam

With Arkadia Jazz All Stars

  • 1998: Thank You, Gerry!: Our Tribute to Gerry Mulligan (Arkadia Jazz)

With Benny Aronov

  • 1979: Shadow Box (Choice)

With Bobby Bryant

With Ruby Braff

With Monty Budwig

With Ralph Burns

  • 1961: Where There's Burns There's Fire (Warwick)

With Gary Burton

With Ray Charles

With Al Cohn

With Dave Frishberg

With Curtis Fuller

With Stan Getz

With Jimmy Giuffre

With Buddy Greco

  • 1961: I Like It Swinging (Epic)

With the Guitar Choir

With Bobby Hackett

With Jim Hall

  • 1999: Live At The North Sea Jazz Festival (Challenge)

With Woody Herman

  • 1958: The Herd Rides Again . . . In Stereo (Everest)

With Lee Konitz

With Marko Lackner

  • 2005: Awakening (Double Moon)

With Gary McFarland

With Gary McFarland and Clark Terry

With Gerry Mulligan

With Oliver Nelson

With Anita O'Day

With Michel Petrucciani

  • 1997: Both Worlds (Dreyfus Jazz)

With Oscar Pettiford

With Bill Potts

With Jimmy Raney

  • 1957: Jimmy Raney In Three Attitudes (ABC-Paramount)

With Pee Wee Russell and Coleman Hawkins

With Lalo Schifrin

With Don Sebesky

  • 1979: Three Works For Jazz Soloists & Symphony Orchestra (Gryphon)

With Bud Shank

With Zoot Sims

With Clark Terry

  • 1971: Clark Terry & Bob Brookmeyer (Verve)

With Bob Thiele

  • 1969: Head Start (Flying Dutchman)

With Various Artists

As arranger

With Terry Gibbs

With The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra

With Jack Teagarden

  • 1962: Think Well Of Me (Verve)

As composer

With Jim Pugh and Dave Taylor

  • 1984: The Pugh-Taylor Project (DMP) - track 3, "Red Balloons"

See also


  1. Keepnews, Peter (December 18, 2011). "Bob Brookmeyer, Jazz Musician and educator, Dies at 81". The New York Times.
  2. Berendt, Joachim (1976). The Jazz Book. Paladin. p. 380.
  3. Berendt, Joachim (1976). The Jazz Book. Paladin. p. 384.
  4. Berendt, Joachim (1976). The Jazz Book. Paladin. p. 199.
  5. "Tribute to Bob Brookmeyer". December 19, 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  6. artsjournal obituary. Archived May 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  7. "Bob Brookmeyer Featuring Al Cohn - Storyville Presents Bob Brookmeyer". Discogs. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.