Bob Brookmeyer: The Modernity of Bob Brookmeyer (1954) [2008]


Track list:

01 You Took Advantage of Me (Rodgers, Hart) 5:36
02 There Will Never Be Another You (Warren, Gordon) 4:25
03 What Is There to Say ? (Duke, Harburg) 3:44
04 He Ain’t Got Rhythm (Berlin) 4:01
05 Jasmin (Brookmeyer) 4:38
06 The Bulldog Blues (Brookmeyer) 8:03
07 Sticks and Stems (Brookmeyer) 5:34

08 Liberty Belle (Brookmeyer) 2:47
09 Have You Met Miss Jones (Rodgers, Hart) 3:22
10 Isn’t It Romantic (Rodgers, Hart) 2:34
11 Traditional Blues (traditional) 2:36
12 Doe Eyes (Mitchell) 3:18
13 Red Devil (Mitchell) 3:19
14 Body and Soul (Green, Heyman, Sour) 3:19
15 Last Chance (Brookmeyer) 2:50


[# 1-7] Originally issued on THE MODERNITY OF BOB BROOKMEYER QUARTET (Clef Records 12-inch LP MGC-732)
Bob Brookmeyer (v-tb); Jimmy Rowles (p); Buddy Clark (b); Mel Lewis (dr)
Recorded in Hollywood (Los Angeles); December 26, 1954

[# 8-15] Originally issued on THE BOB BROOKMEYER QUARTET (Pacific Jazz 10-inch LP 16)
Bob Brookmeyer (v-tb); John Williams (p); Bill Anthony or Red Mitchell [# 11-15] (b); Frank Isola (dr)
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack (New Jersey); July 5 ; & July 7 [# 11-15], 1954

This compilation Released: 2008 | Label: Fresh Sound Records FSR-CD-499


This session originally appeared as a Clef LP under a different title before it was reissued on Verve in 1957 as The Modernity of Bob Brookmeyer.
Regardless of the title, the valve trombonist was extremely busy in the studios (as both a leader and a sideman) at this point in his career, and he prolifically turned out top-notch arrangements such as the seven tracks on this record.
Accompanied by the great pianist Jimmy Rowles, bassist Buddy Clark, and drummer Mel Lewis, Brookmeyer’s fluid, sassy solos carry the day in the four standards and his three creative originals.
Rowles seems a tad reserved compared to his own dates as a leader, though he still swings.
Almost impossible to track down, this rare LP will likely turn up only in auction lists and the occasional estate sale of a serious jazz collector.
Ken Dryden [allmusic]


Modernity is a word that can be debated by the hour, especially in the field of jazz, but the modernity of Bob Brookmeyer has always embraced a firm respect for the past on which it is founded — and the ability to give it a contemporary context and expression.
Throughout his long career, even as he grew into perhaps the finest living jazz composer and orchestrator, he has retained that gift as a writer and performer.
And, as these delightful 1954 quartet sessions featuring his valve trombone show, he had the perception and the skill to express it from early on, turning each performance into a memorably personal adventure.
His playing on these dates with pianists Jimmy Rowles and John Williams reveals the particular combination of heart and soul, of imagination and intellect, that has made him such an impressive figure in jazz.