Bud Brisbois

Austin Dean “Bud” Brisbois (April 11, 1937 – June 1978) was a jazz and studio trumpet player. He played all styles, including big band lead, jazz soloing, pop, rock, country, Motown, andclassical, but it was his high-note playing that set him apart. At his peak he was one of the most accurate and consistent of all high-note trumpeters, and his range has never been equaled.

Brisbois was born in Edina, Minnesota and began studying the trumpet at age 12. He was mainly self-taught, and reportedly had most of his range before leaving high school. He briefly attended University of Minnesota before moving to Los Angeles, where he would live most of his life, when not touring. In September 1958 he joined Stan Kenton’s orchestra, where he took over the “scream” parts written for Maynard Ferguson, in addition to playing much of the lead trumpet. Brisbois toured with Kenton’s band until the early 60’s, recording over 30 albums. Around 1963 he left Kenton to work in the Los Angeles recording studios.

Brisbois worked as a studio musician in L.A. from around 1963 to 1975, recording over a hundred albums. Some of the performers he recorded with are: Herb Alpert, Tony Bennett, TheChicago Symphony Orchestra, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole, Bobby Darin, Neil Diamond, Duke Ellington, The 5th Dimension, The Four Freshmen, Lionel Hampton, Herbie Hancock,Harry James, Stan Kenton, Henry Mancini, Dean Martin, Onzy Matthews, Billy May, The Monkees, Bonnie Raitt, Lou Rawls, Lalo Schifrin, Bud Shank, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, andNancy Wilson. In addition, he played lead trumpet on the theme songs to Hawaii Five-O and The Jetsons.

In early 1973 Brisbois formed the rock group Butane, featuring himself as singer and trumpeter. They recorded a demo and played regular gigs over the next two years, at one point performing on the hit television show The Midnight Special, but never secured a record contract and eventually disbanded.

In 1975 following the breakup of his second marriage, Brisbois began having increasing problems controlling his manic depression, from which he had suffered all his life. He quit the music business entirely and moved to Beverly Hills, where for a time he worked as a Porsche salesman. In 1976 or 1977, he moved to Scottsdale, Arizona to be near his sister. Eventually he began playing again. When asked what inspired him, he replied, “I was driving down a freeway in LA and heard Claus Ogerman’s Gate of Dreams album.” Brisbois began teaching privately and worked closely with the late Grant Wolf and the Mesa Community College Jazz Band. In addition, he coached the trumpets of the Musicians Union sponsored Young Sounds band. He performed in various bands in the Phoenix area. In late May or early June 1978, Bud appeared as a guest with the jazz-rock group “Matrix” and commented “I played as well as I have ever played.” Less than a week later, he committed suicide.

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more info on the website of trumpeter Jim Seeley.

More videos:

Children of the Night

Sweet Georgia Brown

He also had 2 books published on his name, “Trumpet Today” for building the high register and a duet book called “Trumpets Today” written by Lennie Niehaus en recorded by Bud.

Here an interview with Bud.