Interview: Bob Brookmeyer (Part 3) - JazzWax

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June 24, 2009


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Ed Leimbacher

Lordy me, gospel and revelations--Bob B. the arranging force behind so much classic Ray C.? Three geniuses at work on Ray's signature albums (including Al Cohn--on Georgia!--but disallowing Ralph Burns)? This multi-part interview is just too good...

Red Colm O'Sullivan

Just a direct query, if I may, concerning the personell of the Concert Jazz Band: who was "Jim Reider", the marvellous and heavily featured tenor-player? He knocks me out every time (hear him on the Live at The Vanguard album)- but I've never heard of him in any other context.
I have a hunch that it's a pseudo-name for a well-known star player (I even have a suspect or two in mind). Can anybody help me (even the straw boss himself) - this one has troubled me for years.
P.S.: I'm delighted to hear the GREAT man acknowledge his pride in the "Gloomy Sunday and Other Bright Moments" album.

Alan Kurtz

Red Colm O'Sullivan, sorry to puncture your fantasy that Jim Reider was a pseudonym for a "well-known star player" (are there any other kind of star players?), but he was exactly whom he claimed to be. Reider began his recording career in New York, waxing Phil Sunkel's Jazz Concerto Grosso along with Mulligan & Brookmeyer in October 1957. Jim was a member of Mulligan's CJB during 1960-'61, in which capacity I witnessed him performing in person on several occasions. While I never demanded to see his union card, I am satisfied that he wasn't Al Cohn in disguise. Jim's last recording was Mose Allison's Swingin' Machine in November 1962, after which he dropped off the jazz radar screen with the mystifying efficiency of a stealth aircraft from Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works. Gone but obviously not forgotten, since he we are discussing him half a century later.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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