He started out with artists like Gerry Mulligan and Stan Getz, played for Ray Charles and was a major influence on composer and arranger Maria Schneider. He was originally a pianist for dance bands in the 1940s but Bob Brookmeyer was first recognized as a valve trombonist. An original member of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, he went on write advanced arrangements for the Mel Lewis band and eventually for the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Along the way, Bob played piano with Bill Evans and was in the house band for the Merv Griffin television show.
Learn more about this extraordinary musician, composer and arranger on another edition of Unsung Heroes, Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music, Monday, May 6 at 8 p.m.