Tenor saxophonist David “Bubba” Brooks, the older brother of late ’50s, early ’60s Blue Note tenorist Harold “Tina” Brooks and a fine swing player in his own right, died April 11 in New York City. He was 79.
Brooks grew up in Fayetteville, N.C., in a musical family: his father was a singer; his uncle J.C. McAllister played alto sax; his cousin Bill McAllister played tenor. Brooks took a few lessons, but he mostly taught himself to play by practicing to Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton and Count Basie records. It was that swing music, and swing saxophonists like Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins, that most influenced his sound.