Bob Brookmeyer- Trombone Jazz Samba (1962)

FrontCover1 Bob Brookmeyer was in the studio just a few months after Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd helped to launch the bossa nova craze in the United States with their hit LP Jazz Samba, but this extremely enjoyable LP didn’t come close to matching the success of the earlier album; it may be because the valve trombone is not envisioned as a lush melodic instrument by the average jazz listener in comparison to the tenor sax. Brookmeyer’s mellow solos are complemented by the presence of guitarists Jim Hall (who plays all of the solos) and Jimmy Raney, along with vibraphonist Gary McFarland and a trio of Latin percussionists, including Willie Bobo. Luiz Bonfá’s “Samba de Orfeu” and “Manha de Carnaval” as well as Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “A Felicidade” (all three of which have become standards within the genre) are given imaginative arrangements, but there are a few twists thrown in by the leader. Brookmeyer’s catchy “Blues Bossa Nova” works very well, as do his loping bossa nova treatment of Bronislaw Kaper’s theme from Mutiny on the Bounty and a hilarious brisk chart called “Colonel Bogey Bossa Nova,” a reworking of the well-known song made famous by the film The Bridge on the River Kwai. Long out of print, this album deserves to be reissued by Verve — although there are hopefully some unissued tracks, as its brevity (under 28 minutes) is a handicap. (by by Ken Dryden)

JimHallJim Hall

Bob Brookmeyer was in the studio just a few months after Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd helped to launch the bossa nova craze in the United States with their hit LP Jazz Samba, but this extremely enjoyable LP didn’t come close to matching the success of the earlier album; it may be because the valve trombone is not envisioned as a lush melodic instrument by the average jazz listener in comparison to the tenor sax.
Brookmeyer’s mellow solos are complemented by the presence of guitarists Jim Hall (who plays all of the solos) and Jimmy Raney, along with vibraphonist Gary McFarland and a trio of Latin percussionists, including Willie Bobo.
Luiz Bonfá’s “Samba de Orfeu” and “Manha de Carnaval” as well as Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “A Felicidade” (all three of which have become standards within the genre) are given imaginative arrangements, but there are a few twists thrown in by the leader. Brookmeyer’s catchy “Blues Bossa Nova” works very well, as do his loping bossa nova treatment of Bronislaw Kaper’s theme from Mutiny on the Bounty and a hilarious brisk chart called “Colonel Bogey Bossa Nova,” a reworking of the well-known song made famous by the film The Bridge on the River Kwai. (by kat.cr)

Recorded in New York City, Aug. 21 & 23, Sept. 14, 1962.

CDBackCover1Personnel:
Willie Bobo (drums)
Bob Brookmeyer (trombone, piano)
Carmen Costa (drums)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Gary McFarland (vibraphone)
Jose Paulo (tambourine)
Jimmy Raney (guitar)

BobBrookmeyerTracklist:
01. Samba De Orfeu (Bonfa) 4.05
02. Manha De Carnival (Bonfa)
03. Blues Bossa Nova (Brookmeyer) 4.09
04. Qual E O Po (Goncalves/Kelly) 3.30
05. A Felicidade (Jobim) 3.12
06. Theme From “Mutiny On The Bounty” (Kaper) 2.02
07. Chara Tua Tristeza (Florini/Neves) 4.11
08. Col. Bogey Bossa Nova (Alford) 2.21

LabelB1*
**

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Bob Brookmeyer & Bill Evans – The Ivory Hunters (1959)

FrontCover1When Bill Evans agreed to do a two piano date with Bob Brookmeyer, eyebrows surely must have raised. Pairing a rising superstar of modern jazz with a gentleman known for playing valve trombone and arranging charts might have been deemed by some as a daunting task. Fortunately for the keyboardists, this was a good idea and a marvelous concept, where the two could use the concept of counterpoint and improvisation to an enjoyable means, much like a great chess match. For the listener, you are easily able to hear the difference between ostensible leader Evans in the right channel of the stereo separation, and the accompanist Brookmeyer in the left. The opener “Honeysuckle Rose” gives a basic idea of what to expect, as Evans leads out, Brookmeyer counters his moves, and they trade riffs in an inventive bridge. “The Way You Look Tonight” is similar as Brookmeyer is more playful in his chiming chords and second melody line. The energy level is very good here, as well as on the democratic, funky contemporary intro to the easy swing of “It Could Happen to You” and “I Got Rhythm,” jam-packed with fun plus risk-taking. There’s a different give and take during “The Man I Love,” and they turn the lamp down low on a delicate version of “As Time Goes By” as the pianists trade leads, and bassist Percy Heath adopts a more pronounced role. It is Heath and drummer Connie Kay, on loan from the Modern Jazz Quartet, who precisely and firmly cement rhythmic elements, allowing the pianists to use space, harmony, wit and wisdom to full effect. Some have called this an effort based more on gimmick and showmanship, but if you agree to listen closely, the depth and substance of Evans and Brookmeyer reveals a lot of soul, invention, and musicians simply having a real good time. It would be nice to hear any alternate takes from this marvelous date. (Michael G. Nastos)

 

BillEvans
Bill Evans

Personnel:
Bob Brookmeyer (piano)
Bill Evans (piano)
Percy Heath (bass)
Connie Kay (drums)

AlternateFrontCovers
Alternate frontcovers

Tracklist:
01. Honeysuckle Rose (Razaf/Waller) 5.52
02. As Time Goes By (Hupfeld) 6.56
03. The Way You Look Tonight (Fields/Kern) 7.38
04. It Could Happen To You (Burke/Van Heusen) 7.27
05. The Man I Love (Gershwin) 5.58
06. I Got Rhythm (Gershwin) 8.28

Label1*
**