Bob Mover: Bebop Master

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I first met Bob Mover in 1978 when I began to study with him. Bob is just a year older than I but he’d already had a lifetime of experience to draw from as a jazz artist and student of the art form. I soon discovered that he also had a tremendous gift for analyzing one’s musical needs and finding clear solutions to those areas of deficiency. In short, he was a natural teacher who was very giving of his time, energy and knowledge. Years later when I was in charge of a university jazz program, it gave me great joy to hire Bob to teach improvisation to the jazz majors. He was beloved by his students there as well. As you will hear in this interview, Bob is a great storyteller whose path to becoming a world-class jazz musician is unusual. I have always thought of Bob as one of the most honest and accomplished jazz improvisers I have ever witnessed. He is someone who is truly committed to the music as a performer and has never wavered from this focus. To contact Bob, email him at OR call him at: 917-593-6199. Also, please check out his website at

Editor’s Note: Bob mentioned after the interview three additional recordings that were very influential in his development: Sonny Rollins’ “The Bridge,” Miles Davis’ “Round Midnight,” and Kenny Dorham’s “Afro-Cuban.”

About the Artist: Saxophonist Bob Mover is the perfect definition of a musician’s musician. Born in Boston to a musical family, Bob began studying the saxophone at 13 and was working with Charles Mingus by the time he was 21! A jazz prodigy before it was common to use that term, he studied with some of the greatest jazz artists including Ira Sullivan, Phil Woods, Gordon Brisker, Lee Konitz and Richie Kamuca as well as learning a great deal from his first teacher, Teddy Rosen. Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn and Sonny Rollins all had a huge influence on Bob’s development. He has played with the bands of Chet Baker and Jaki Byard and has recorded 10 solo albums in addition to numerous recording stints as a sideman. His encyclopedic knowledge of tunes—both jazz and American Songbook standards—along with his deep understanding of harmony plus his knowledge of the lyrics to every tune he plays infuses his performances with a depth rarely heard anymore. Bob often parlays his improvisational skills with vocals, keeping alive the tradition of legendary jazz instrumentalists like Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, Clark Terry, James Moody, Nat Cole, Chet Baker, etc., who all sang. His latest release is My Heart Tells Me with Kenny Baron.


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