Bob Stewart had to make his own way in terms of developing a viable voice as an improviser and composer. Besides New Orleans brass bands and orchestral Third Stream music, gigs are scarce for tuba players in modern jazz. “I had to reach outside the realm of tuba players to figure out what I wanted to sound like,” says Stewart, 69. He’s recorded a handful of albums as a leader but is best known through his associations with the likes of Charles Mingus, David Murray, Gil Evans,
Sam Rivers and, especially, Arthur Blythe, whose classic Lenox Avenue Breakdown LP features instrument-defining solo work by Stewart.