Bob Brookmeyer passes aged 81

Written By: Geoff Wolmark Comments: 0

Jazz valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer (b. 1929) passed away on 17 December 2011, just three days before his 82nd birthday. Bob was an integral force in music, making some of the greatest groups in jazz history what we know and admire today. Whether as a composer, arranger or trombonist, his unique voice is immediately discernible from the very first note, always bringing a smile and one word: "Brookmeyer."

For many jazz musicians, Bob has always been a tremendous inspiration and an overflowing wealth of knowledge. It would be hard to find a large ensemble composer that doesn't have Bob's name on the top of their list of favourites. For those lucky enough to have had the opportunity to study with him, they were given more than just an education in the art of being a great composer, they were given a level of both love and support that expanded far beyond the classroom. He had a wonderful ability to cultivate their inner strengths, yet pull them out of their comfort zones and stretch them farther than they could have ever imagined possible.

Bob's newest album, Standards, which was officially released a few weeks ago, was a record that Bob was incredibly proud of. It is a true masterpiece in every sense of the word, with each arrangement encompassing everything that is "Bob Brookmeyer."

Bob, you were an amazing force and a fearless leader to all jazz composers. Thank you for your years of inspiration, support, and for leaving a legacy of music to continually inspire us for years to come.

(Adapted from an article on the Bob Brookmeyer website.)

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