Jazz Musician Bob Brookmeyer Dies At 81

Bob Brookmeyer began his career in the 1950s. From the beginning, Brookmeyer was credited with a highly distinctive personal style — first as an improviser, then as a composer and arranger for big-band jazz. And his primary instrument is one that's rarely heard — the valve trombone — instead of a slide.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And this morning, we're remembering an influential name in jazz. Bob Brookmeyer began his career in the 1950s. From the beginning, he was credited with a highly distinctive personal style, first as an improviser, then as composer and arranger for big-band jazz. His primary instrument is one that's rarely heard, the valve trombone. Instead of a slide, it's played with valves like a trumpet.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "MOONLIGHT IN VERMONT")

MONTAGNE: Bob Brookmeyer was just 11 when his father took him to see the Count Basie Orchestra. He once recalled he thought at the time, I just have to do this.

Bob Brookmeyer died in New Hampshire late last Thursday, a few days before his 82nd birthday.

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

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