The following is a guest post by Acquisitions Specialist and Curator of the Gerry Mulligan Papers, Loras John Schissel.
We were fortunate to have Bob Brookmeyer and members of Gerry Mulligan’s band when the Music Division celebrated the acquisition of the Mulligan Papers with a gala concert in the Coolidge Auditorium in 1999. I’ve met countless musicians who were inspired by Bob’s playing, compositions/arrangements, and perhaps most importantly his “toughness” on young or would-be composers. “If it doesn’t sound good—why did you write it that way?” My friend, the brilliant composer and arranger Paul Ferguson summed it up best: “He was impatient for the younger generation to create something worthwhile—to stop imitating—to push as he did.” That, my friends is a hell of a way to be remembered. Requiescat in pace, Bob.