Bob Brookmeyer has long been the top valve trombonist in jazz and a very advanced arranger whose writing is influenced by modern classical music. He started out as a pianist in dance bands but was on valve trombone with Stan Getz (1953). He gained fame as a member of the Gerry Mulligan quartet (1954-1957), was part of the unusual Jimmy Giuffre Three of 1957-1958, and then re-joined Mulligan as arranger and occasional player with his Concert Jazz Band. Brookmeyer, who was a strong enough pianist to hold his own on a two-piano date with Bill Evans, occasionally switched to piano with Mulligan. He co-led a part-time quintet with Clark Terry (1961-1966), was an original member of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis orchestra (1965-1967), and became a busy studio musician. Brookmeyer moved to Europe, where he continually writes and occasionally records on his distinctive valve trombone.
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