|Photo by Franz Pisa|
Last week I was saddened by the news that Bob Brozman had passed away at the, relatively, young age of 59. The sadness was deepened when I learned that he had taken his own life. What a terrible loss for the traditional acoustic music community. Bob was an author, teacher, musicologist, and instrument designer, as well as a virtuoso musician. Beginning his career as a busker, performing on the streets of Santa Cruz, California, Bob would eventually record about thirty albums, several instructional videos, and travel around the world entertaining audiences with his unique interpretations of jazz, blues, and Hawaiian music.
A couple months ago I purchased Bob's Ukulele Toolbox DVD for Georgianne. I posted the following review on Amazon.com and on a forum for ukulele enthusiasts.
"The other night I sat down and watched Bob Brozman's Ukulele Toolbox Volume one. Bob is a great player and a great teacher. On this video he teaches you how to play the ukulele; not how to play songs on the ukulele. There is a lot of information presented here, some for the complete beginner, but mostly the lessons seem to be aimed more towards people who have some musical background but may be new to the uke. He starts out with some right hand techniques that are applicable to players of any level. He then moves on to chord positions, progressions, and turn arounds in several keys. Bob does a good job explaining but, given the limited time, he goes over things pretty quickly. I think a person with some basic knowledge of chord structure and chord progressions (things like, I - IV - V, or I -VI - II - V- I, etc.) could get a lot out of this video. Basically you get couple lessons with a master musician for only 20 bucks, too bad you can't stop him to ask questions or pick his brain, but I think if you watch it and take what you can, you'll get your money's worth and more."
The talents, wit, and wisdom of Mr. Brozman will be missed.