Bob Brookmeyer is both a unique soloist on a unique instrument - the valve trombone - and one of the most famous composers and arrangers in jazz. He started his career as a pianist in various dance bands. From the fact that he played duo-concerts with an absolute master piano-player like Bill Evans, we may conclude that, to him, the piano was more than a second instrument. However, Brookmeyer made his breakthrough as a valve trombonist in the bands of Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan and Mel Lewis. For that last band, which Lewis co-led with Thad Jones, he wrote remarkable, large scale, classical influenced arrangements. In 1994 the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Lübeck offered him the opportunity to put together an orchestra that was to specialize in Brookmeyer's own compositions: the Bob Brookmeyer New Art Orchestra. So far the orchestra has recorded four CD's, of which the third Get Well Soon, was awarded a Grammy, and the fourth, Spirit Music, was nominated for a Grammy.
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