Seattle Jazz Pianist Jack Brownlow Dies at 84

Jack Brownlow, a jazz pianist popular in the Seattle area, died of kidney failure on October 27th. He was 84 and had been in ill health for some time. Described as possessing a style similar to that of Bill Evans, Brownlow never gained national recognition but he played at one time with Lester Young, and counted Randy Brecker and Rufus Reid among those artists he mentored.

Born in Spokane, Washington, Brownlow began playing piano at age 12. Nicknamed Bruno, he played in the Navy band in Idaho during World War II, after which he settled first in Kansas City and then Los Angeles, where he played with Young and Boyd Raeburn. By the 1960s Brownlow had established himself as a presence on the Seattle jazz scene.

Brownlow recorded his first CD as a leader, Dark Dance, in 1995 at age 72, followed by Suddenly It’s Bruno in 1999.