Bob Moore

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Big-band buffs basting in the brass bliss of Basie will recognize Bobby Moore as one of that big band's best trumpet soloists, regardless of how limited his time in the group actually was. Jazz fans whose…
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Big-band buffs basting in the brass bliss of Basie will recognize Bobby Moore as one of that big band's best trumpet soloists, regardless of how limited his time in the group actually was. Jazz fans whose interests run more toward the sensational, sometimes sad side of the genre might have more interest in Moore as one of an actually quite small percentage of jazzmen who wind up committed to mental institutions. Fascination with this sorry state of affairs, which Moore succumbed to almost immediately after the '40s rolled in, may represent a defense mechanism against those who dislike jazz -- some of whom have actually expressed a desire to have all jazz musicians herded into padded cells. At any rate, "crazy music" is a well-worn expression serviced in description of jazz from many different eras.

How early Moore started in as a trumpet player is a matter of certain dispute, especially given credits going back to the second half of the '20s. Squared with the vague available details about his birth in New York City, he would have been a mere toddler then. He did make his debut at the Apollo Theater at the age of 16 and was still a teenager when joining Count Basie's group, a job that lasted from the spring of 1937 through the following fall. From there he went to the Hot Lips Page band, then to a group led by Jimmy Mundy and the marvelous Benny Carter Big Band. Things looked good aesthetically on paper, but Moore nonetheless experienced a complete nervous breakdown in 1940. He was placed first in Bellevue Hospital, then was moved to the Matteawan Institution. There were no more professional performances by this trumpeter.