Bob Brookmeyer

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Bob Brookmeyer
Clark Terry-Bob Brookmeyer.jpg
Clark Terry with Brookmeyer (right) at the Clearwater Jazz Festival, Florida, 1980s
Background information
Birth name Robert Edward Brookmeyer
Born (1929-12-19)December 19, 1929
Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died December 15, 2011(2011-12-15) (aged 81)
New London, New Hampshire, United States[1]
Genres Mainstream jazz
Cool jazz
West Coast jazz
Post bop
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, arranger, educator
Instruments Valve trombone, piano
Labels Impulse!, Mainstream, RCA, Verve
Associated acts Gary 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

Robert Edward 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.


Brookmeyer was born on December 19, 1929, in 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]

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


As leader/coleader

As sideman

With Manny Albam

With Arkadia Jazz All Stars

  • Thank You, Gerry!

With Gary Burton

With Al Cohn

With Curtis Fuller

With Stan Getz

  • The Artistry of Stan Getz (Clef, 1952)

With Jimmy Giuffre

With Lee Konitz

With Gary McFarland

With Gary McFarland and Clark Terry

With Gerry Mulligan

  • Paris Concert (1954)
  • Presenting the Gerry Mulligan Sextet (EmArcy, 1955)
  • Mainstream of Jazz (EmArcy, 1956)
  • Gerry Mulligan Quartet at Storyville (Bill Crow & Dave Bailey, Pacific Jazz, 1956)
  • Gerry Mulligan and the Concert Jazz Band at the Village Vanguard (Verve, 1960)
  • Butterfly with Hiccups – Gerry Mulligan Sextet (Limelight, 1960)
  • Holliday with Mulligan (1961)
  • Gerry Mulligan presents A Concert in Jazz (Verve, 1961)
  • The Gerry Mulligan Quartet (Bill Crow & Gus Johnson, Verve, 1962)
  • Gerry Mulligan '63, the Concert Jazz Band (Verve)
  • Night Lights – Gerry Mulligan Sextet (Philips, 1963)

With Lalo Schifrin

With Bud Shank

With Zoot Sims

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Keepnews, Peter (December 18, 2011). "Bob Brookmeyer, Jazz Musician and educator, Dies at 81". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Berendt, Joachim (1976). The Jazz Book. Paladin. p. 380.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Berendt, Joachim (1976). The Jazz Book. Paladin. p. 384.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Berendt, Joachim (1976). The Jazz Book. Paladin. p. 199.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Tribute to Bob Brookmeyer". December 19, 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. artsjournal obituary.

External links