John Benson Brooks
John Benson Brooks (February 23, 1917, Houlton, Maine – November 13, 1999, New York City) was an American jazz pianist, songwriter, arranger, and composer.
Brooks worked early in his career as an arranger for Randy Brooks, Les Brown, Boyd Raeburn, and Tommy Dorsey. He worked often with lyricists Eddie DeLange and Bob Russell in the 1940s; he and DeLange wrote the song "Just as Though You Were Here," a hit for Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra as vocalist. He wrote "You Came a Long Way from St. Louis" with Bob Russell for Ray McKinley, released as a single in 1948.
In 1956 Brooks worked with Zoot Sims and Al Cohn on a recording "Folk Jazz U.S.A." He became better-known as a composer during this time, and his works blend elements of folk music and dodecaphony with the idioms of modern jazz. In 1958 he composed a work entitled Alabama Concerto and assembled a cast of sidemen for a recording which included Cannonball Adderley, Art Farmer, Barry Galbraith, and Milt Hinton. The recording was eventually re-issued under Adderley's name.
Brooks was a close friend of Gil Evans. Evans later recorded his works "Sirhan's Blues" and "Where Flamingos Fly" (the last co-written with Harold Courlander and Elthea Peale). Brooks and Courlander collaborated on a book of transcriptions of rural blues and spirituals in Alabama, which provided some of the inspiration for the Alabama Concerto. A trio Brooks formed In the 1960s performed at the International Jazz Festival in Washington in 1962 with a composition called "The Twelves," based on improvisations on twelve-tone rows. This became part of a LP called "Avant Slant," which was a collage of new and already recorded sounds and songs from Milt Gabler, the poet Robert Graves, LeRoi Jones, Lightnin' Hopkins, and others.
Birth and Death Data: Born February 23rd, 1917 (Houlton), Died November 13th, 1999 (New York City)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1942 - 1967
Roles Represented in DAHR: arranger, piano, songwriter, composer
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 42 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BS-073487||10-in.||3/30/1942||Who threw the whiskey in the well?||Hardway Four ; Sunset Orchestra ; Doc Wheeler||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and male vocal quartet||songwriter|
|Victor||BS-075204||10-in.||5/18/1942||Just as though you were here||The Pied Pipers ; Frank Sinatra ; Tommy Dorsey Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and vocal ensemble||songwriter|
|Decca||72964||10-in.||7/2/1945||No more Toujours l'amour||Randy Brooks||arranger|
|Decca||72965||10-in.||7/2/1945||I'd do it all over again||Randy Brooks||arranger|
|Decca||72966||10-in.||7/2/1945||I'm gonna love that guy||Randy Brooks||arranger|
|Decca||72995||10-in.||8/3/1945||I'm gonna love that guy||Randy Brooks ; Marion Hutton||arranger|
|Decca||72996||10-in.||8/3/1945||Benny's comin' home on Saturday||Randy Brooks ; Marion Hutton||arranger|
|Decca||72997||10-in.||8/3/1945||Holiday forever||Randy Brooks||arranger|
|Decca||73171||10-in.||12/3/1945||Thunder rock||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||73208||10-in.||12/3/1945||Harlem nocturne||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||73209||10-in.||12/3/1945||I never thought I'd sing the blues||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||73210||10-in.||12/3/1945||In a moon mist||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||73211||10-in.||12/3/1945||Don't let me dream||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||73469||3/22/1946||Somebody loves me||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||73470||3/22/1946||Without you (Tres palabras)||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||73471||3/22/1946||Strange love||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||73499||4/12/1946||A night at The Deuces||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||73500||4/12/1946||How high the moon||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||73501||4/12/1946||Beyond the blue horizon||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||73552||5/2/1946||Surrender||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||73553||5/2/1946||More than you know||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||73558||5/8/1946||One love||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||73559||5/8/1946||Holiday forever||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||73560||5/8/1946||Beyond the blue horizon||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
|Decca||74001||7/14/1947||Lamplight||Randy Brooks Orchestra||arranger|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Brooks, John Benson," accessed September 20, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109402.
Brooks, John Benson. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 20, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109402.
"Brooks, John Benson." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 20 September 2021.
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