A star on valve trombone ever since his glory days with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet, Brookmeyer also plays piano on the side--and it's more than just a hobby. On Holiday, his first all-piano album since 1959, he serves up five standards, six strong originals and a blues, performed in a blunt, bracing style full of sharp corners and spicy chords and often startlingly reminiscent of his no-nonsense horn playing. What took him so long? You don't need to be a full-time pianist to revel in the part-time playing of this switch-hitting jazz master.
--By Terry Teachout