Another significant Canadian contributor to jazz is gone. Barely more than a week after Gene Lees died comes news that Rob McConnell lost his long struggle with cancer Saturday in a Toronto hospital. A valve trombonist, arranger, composer and leader, McConnell made his Boss Brass one of the significant big bands of the latter part of the twentieth century and into the first decade of this one.
Here he is with the Boss Brass on a visit to the US west coast in 1981. Rob introduces the piece and soloists. “Jimmy” is pianist Jimmy Dale. Terry Clarke is the drummer, Don Thompson the bassist. A complete list of the band members runs at the end of the clip.
The Toronto radio station Jazz.FM91 has posted a biography, as well as news about the McConnell documentary that it will air and stream on the web this evening. To read a star.com obituary, go here.
Rob McConnell, RIP