As you probably have heard by now, Bob Brookmeyer passed away last week, just a few days shy of his 82nd birthday. A tremendous loss for the jazz world. I’ve been listening to Bob’s stuff since I was in high school, all the while marveling at the musical way in which he approached improvisation, arranging, and composition.
One fond memory I have is transcribing a bunch of his solos off the record Live at Sandy’s
, a double album. For those of you too young to remember, that was two 33 RPM records included in one purchase. I think I just about wore that thing out. Still have it in a box in my basement. Thank God for cassette tapes at the time!
While in college, I studied and learned alot from Ray Wright’s jazz arranging book, Inside the Score
. Inside the Score was one of the first books that actually had the entire chart printed out with the accompanying recording included. Bob’s “First Love Song” inside that book taught me alot about how substitutions work and how a simple melody could be made to sound totally different by reharmonizing it. Sounds like Bob was composing right up until his death, which is the way any one would want it I suppose.
I posted an excerpt of the score and recording below for you to listen while you study an original composition by Bob called “The Door”. Many thanks to class member Laurent Rinaldi for supplying this recording and PDF excerpt. You can purchase The Door here in its entirety. (Be sure to check the doubles in the sax section – he wrote for English horn and oboe!)
You can study and listen by expanding the score below while listening to the audio via the audio player below. Follow the score along with your mouse and use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out of the music. Press escape to exit the expanded score.
NOTE: This is an excerpt only. Purchase the entire score and recording of The Door here.
If you have any comments or any experience regarding Bob Brookmeyer, be sure to leave a comment below.