Bands are all the same and all bands are different – they are, soon after you meet them, individuals, with separate gifts, favorite places and varying degrees of desire, flexibility and, most important, cooperation.

I’ve been in the guest conducting business for about ten years now – from Mel Lewis to the occasional amateur group and I thought I had the business pretty well figured out. In May of 1987, I discovered I was mistaken. That’s when I met the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra and that is when they proceeded to show me what wonderful things can happen when all the good stuff is in place. We spent four days of intensive rehearsal and concert giving and, somehow, we became permanently attached. Since then, we’ve toured Sweden, played festivals in Umea and Stockholm and, this summer of ’88, made a recording – the one you are hopefully listening to right now.

I don’t believe in telling you how fine the play, how good the solos are, etc. – you make up your own mind. I must, however, remind you that the ensemble sound, especially on the slower pieces – where it is so difficult to achieve – is just superb. As a conductor, they make your hands feel soft and expressive and your ears tingle. That does not happen in real life often and they do it now all the time for me. We understand each other, exchange respect and share and unusual warmth and affection that is close to, indeed probably is, love.

The music is from two periods in my life – close chronologically but further apart developmentally than the years indicate. Cats, Lies, Tick-Tock and Dreams date from May ’86 - Missing Monk and Ceremony April ’88. All the pieces were commissioned by West German Radio in Cologne, where I am a composer in residence, I have been increasingly involved with classical forms, attitudes and players and, I am told, my music is sounding more like concert music than not. The more extreme side of me is not much heard on recordings so this type of writing is an adjustment in time and is more historically connected – from necessity.

We plan now to compose music specifically for this wonderful orchestra and we plan to record more, play more over a larger area and we plan to grow together and become absolutely the best that we can. On behalf of these fine men, and for myself, I thank you for your interest and we hope to see you in person soon.

Bob Brookmeyer
Tick TockListen!
Missing MonkListen!

Bob Brookmeyer


Dave Castle
Hakan Brostrom
Ulf Andersson
Johan Alenius
Hans Arktoft

Jan Kohlin (lead)
Fredrik Noren
Lars Lindgren
Stig Persson
Gustvo Bergalli

Mikael Raberg
Bertil Strandberg
Mats Hermansson
Sven Larsson (bass tbn)

Anders Widmark, piano/keyboards
Jan Adefeldt, bass
Johan Dielemans, drums