Robert Murray Gordon McConnell
Robert Murray Gordon McConnell,"Rob," jazz musician (b at London, Ont 14 Feb 1935, d at Toronto 1 May 2010). McConnell studied with Gordon Delamont in Toronto and then played valve trombone in the bands of Maynard FERGUSON (New York, 1964) and Phil NIMMONS (Toronto, 1965-69).
As a prominent Toronto studio musician, McConnell formed the Boss Brass in 1968 to record pop song arrangements for radio programs serviced by the Canadian Talent Library. By 1976, the Boss Brass had evolved into an uncompromising jazz orchestra of 22 musicians, with McConnell's arrangements drawing wide praise for their subtle colouring and meticulous detail. McConnell received Grammy awards for individual arrangements in 1993 and 1996. Although the Boss Brass performed infrequently in public, it had recorded more than 25 albums by 1998, including the Grammy and Juno award-winning LP All in Good Time (1983) and the Juno recipients Big Band Jazz (1977), Present Perfect (1979) and The Brass is Back (1991). McConnell also led smaller bands on occasion, including a trio with guitarist Ed BICKERT, and was active from the early 1980s in music education as a clinician in Canadian and US schools. He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1997.