Brookmeyer Revisited

Rummaging through Rifftides for posts about Bob Brookmeyer, I found that he is mentioned dozens of times and is the focus of several pieces. You can rummage on your own by entering his name in the “Search this website” box just below the artsjournalblogs logo. This one from 2008 concentrates on a rarity among Brookmeyer recordings.

An earlier post is a review of a daring new Brookmeyer album. It begins:

Like Brahms and Bartók late in their careers, Bob Brookmeyer has achieved increased profundity by clarifying his musical palette. The tensions and conflicts that continued to roil his compositions as he emerged from a period of electronics and experimentation in the first half of the 1990s may not be gone, but if they linger they do not dominate.

To read the whole thing, go here.

To know Brookmeyer better by way of hearing him talk about his music and career, you can do no better than listen to the NPR Jazz Profiles program produced by Bill Kirchner first broadcast in 1999. Find it on Bob’s website by going here and scrolling to the bottom of the page. Among the site’s other interesting attractions is an illustrated list of 42 important Brookmeyer albums, with links to their availability.

Why miss an opportunity to hear more of Brookmeyer’s music? Here’s the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra with his stunning arrangement of “St.Louis Blues.” The soloists are Jones, Brookmeyer, Jerome Richardson, Jones and Roland Hanna. YouTube fades it away, but not before we get the essence of the writing and some fine soloing.

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  1. says

    This is one Holy Blues Mass! Love those shouts behind Thad’s great solo. And all those tempo and mood changes: From an elite St. Louis dance hall to a smoky Manhattan speakeasy … Outstanding, terrific writing.