Bob Brookmeyer is thought of as a cool jazz stylist, though the valve trombonist throws everyone a curve with these 1960 small group dates.
Accompanied by pianist Jimmy Rowles, bassist Buddy Clark, and drummer Mel Lewis, Brookmeyer delves into music from the swing era, utilizing a mute throughout most of the album, something he doesn't use all that often. He delivers a sassy "On the Sunny Side of the Street" and an imaginative reworking of "Stompin' at the Savoy" ("Stoppin' at the Savoy"). "I Got Rhythm," one of the most popular standards recorded by jazz musicians, benefits from Brookmeyer's arrangement, which at one point is a jig, then switches to bop, all with terrific accompaniment by the rhythm section and an intricate solo by Rowles. Also rewarding is his playful approach to "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." This Verve LP, released in 1961, is extremely hard to find, so don't expect to find it quickly or at a cheap price.