I’ve Got Mail: It’s a Small World – Part Two

If you’re a regular here, you’ll know that I’ve mentioned Bob Brookmeyer before, twice with regard to the Thad Jones – Mel Lewis Orchestra (here and here) and once with respect to ArtistShare. The other day, it was last Thursday, around lunchtime, I was listening to Get Well Soon, a Brookmeyer CD I had just bought. A few hours later, the front doorbell rings. I can see the door from my office window and there’s a guy standing there, his arm in a sling, holding a CD. Stay Out of the SunSo I open the door, he hands me the CD — Bob Brookmeyer’s Stay Out Of The Sun — and says, “I’m Michael Stephans. I’m a friend of Bob’s and I live just four houses down the block from you.” Now I’ve lived here for almost seven years, and he’s been there for at least six, and we never knew of one another until now. It took a nudge from Bob and encouragement from a mutual neighbor to get Michael to drop in, and I am glad that he did. (By the way, Michael is the drummer on this very beautiful CD.)

Subsequently, Michael read my posting about Alec Wilder and sent me the following email:

I had the chance to be in the orchestra that premiered a saxophone concerto he wrote for Zoot [Sims] many years ago, and meeting him was daunting, but fun. One of my favorite collections of his tunes is Bob’s “7 x Wilder” with your dad [Jim Hall], Bill Crow, and Mel [Lewis]. The music still breathes so beautifully…

I am embarassed to say that I am not familiar with this recording (I had to look it up, it’s a 1961 Verve LP), but I plan to get my hands on a copy ASAP.