Bob Brookmeyer, a valve trombonist, educator and influential composer/arranger, died last night in New Hampshire, days short of his 82nd birthday.
Brookmeyer arrived in New York as a both a trombonist and pianist. He was good enough, in fact, to record a two-piano album with Bill Evans in 1959. But it was his work on the valve trombone with the likes of Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz and Clark Terry — and his work as a composer, notably for big band — which sustained his career for over five decades. His proteges include acclaimed large ensemble composers Maria Schneider, John Hollenbeck and Darcy James Argue.
To wit, Brookmeyer recently released his latest album, Standards, with the New Art Orchestra, the Germany-based large ensemble he has worked with extensively.
In 2007, NPR's JazzSet captured this partial set from Brookmeyer and the New Art Orchestra, featuring soloist Joe Lovano. And below, hear an archived episode of NPR's Jazz Profiles dedicated to Brookmeyer.