JJ 06/61: Bob Brookmeyer – The Blues Hot And Cold

Sixty years ago, Brookmeyer sceptic Kennedy Brown was converted by this session of 'thoroughly enjoyable down-to-earth jazz, so completely relaxed and so full of wit'. First published in Jazz Journal June 1961

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I’ve always regarded Brookmeyer as a very “clinical” player – competent but cold, very polished, pleasant to listen to but without an ounce of emotion.

I now announce a complete reversal of opinion. For this disc – the best Brookmeyer I have ever heard – shows him in a new light . . . expressive, im­aginative, and plenty hot.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this is an exciting album in the sense that it’s a wildly foot-tapping affair. But I do find it exciting to hear such thoroughly enjoyable down-to-earth jazz, so completely relaxed and so full of wit.

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And you may be as surprised as I was to hear Brookmeyer’s use of “vocal” effects – smears, growls and grunts – that can so often sound corny but come off remarkably well here.

Lewis and Clark supply a subtle back­ing, but I found Rowles a little too meandering.

Discography
On The Sunny Side Of The Street; Stompin’ At The Savoy; Languid Blues (19½ min.) – I Got Rhythm; Smoke Gets In Your Eyes; Hot And Cold Blues (18½ min.)
Bob Brookmeyer (v-tbn); Jimmy Rowles (p); Buddy Clark (bs); Mel Lewis (d).
(HMV CSD 1356 stereo. 12inLP. 34s. 1d.)

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