Oscar Brashear Day

August 18, 1944 – July 7. 2023

A tribute to the hard bop trumpeter

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Trumpeter Oscar Brashear passed away on July 7. 2023 at the age of 78.

He was born on Aug. 18, 1944, in Chicago, Illinois.

Brashear started playing piano when he was seven and took up the trumpet at 11.

After college, he worked with the big bands of Woody Herman (1967) and Count Basie (1968), freelancing around Chicago, and in 1970 moved to Los Angeles.

A powerful player influenced by Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, and Woody Shaw, Brashear worked with bands led by Bobby Hutcherson, Hampton Hawes, Joe Henderson, Horace Silver, J.J. Johnson, Jimmy Smith, Quincy Jones, the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and Billy Childs, having a long-time association with Harold Land.

He was a busy studio and session musician who uplifted countless jazz sessions.

Strangely enough, Oscar Brashear, who remained based in Los Angeles for his final half-century, never led an album of his own.

From 1995, Oscar Brashear is featured on Lee Morgan’s “The Sidewinder” with keyboardist Joe Sample’s The Soul Committee, a group also including tenor-saxophonist Joel Peskin, guitarist Miles Joseph, bassist Freddie Washington, and drummer Steve Gadd.

-Scott Yanow


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