Some long-running Monday-night residencies in New York jazz clubs have acquired legendary status. The Gil Evans Orchestra's four-year-plus stint at Sweet Basil in the 1980s springs to mind, as does Les Paul's long run at the Iridium from 1995 until his death in 2009. Filmmaker Woody Allen's quarter-century of performances on clarinet at Michael's Pub ended only with its closure in 1996. But none of those gigs can boast the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra's longevity at the Village Vanguard: they have been a Monday-night fixture now for almost half a century. The band - who have just been nominated for the best large jazz ensemble Grammy for their latest album, OverTime: Music of Bob Brookmeyer - have undergone name and personnel changes over the years. They started out in 1966 as the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, and became the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra in 1978 when Jones moved to Denmark. When Lewis died in 1990, rather than take the "ghost band" route of the Duke Ellington and Count Basie orchestras, they changed their name to the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra; it's unlikely the Village Vanguard will kick them out. Valve trombonist, pianist, composer and arranger Bob Brookmeyer was a founder member of the band, and for a time acted as their musical director. Brookmeyer, born in Kansas City, Missouri, made his name playing with Al Cohn, Stan Getz, Clark Terry, Jimmy Giuffre and Gerry Mulligan. In 1979, after 10 years working on the west coast, he returned to New York and was responsible for giving the band a new musical direction after Jones' departure. Although Brookmeyer eventually relocated to Europe, he maintained his ties with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, who have a special affinity for his music. All the pieces on OverTime were specially composed or arranged for them. Four of the eight compositions freshly recorded here date back to the Mel Lewis era - The Big Time , XYZ , Skylark , and Sad Song - although only Skylark was recorded at the time. Skylark is also the only song Brookmeyer didn't compose himself, but his 1979 arrangement of the piece, written by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer, is widely seen as a classic. The soloist on the band's original recording of Skylark was alto saxophonist Dick Oatts, and he reprises that role here, also soloing on flute on Sad Song . The Big Time is an ensemble piece featuring the whole band rather than any single soloist, and XYZ features solos from drummer John Riley, bassist David Wong, pianist Jim McNeely, soprano saxophonist Billy Drewes, tenor saxophonist Rich Perry, trumpeter Terell Stafford, and trombonist John Mosca. The other pieces are all new works, composed by Brookmeyer between 2008 - when he proposed the project which has developed into this album to the band - and his death in 2011 at the age of 81. All four are in the Ellingtonian tradition of being composed with a particular soloist in mind, and three are grouped together as a suite. With all the places Bob Brookmeyer’s curiosity took him, he never forgot his roots JIM MCNEELY, VANGUARD JAZZ ORCHESTRA Though it is full of fine solos, it is the band's ensemble playing which makes OverTime a compelling set, and in his later compositions, McNeely says, Brookmeyer was writing with all the players in mind. "The soloist and the ensemble are integrated into one continuous fabric. These pieces flow like rivers and streams; at times the soloist may predominate, but not for long. And while much of the language stems from his more recent work there are times when Kansas City breaks out. With all the places Bob's curiosity took him, he never forgot his roots," says McNeely. "As the sessions continued the depth and beauty of Bob's writing became clearer. This, in turn, fuelled our passion and energy. By the end we felt that we had done something very special." Brookmeyer was nominated for eight Grammy awards, but never won. The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (VJO) have one apiece. OverTime 's nomination in the 57th Grammy Awards pits the VJO against the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, Rufus Reid, and the Archie Shepp Attica Blues Orchestra. The results will be out on February 8. Take Three Three classic albums featuring Bob Brookmeyer. Recorded Fall 1961 (1961, Verve): one of a number of fine sets featuring Brookmeyer on valve trombone as co-leader, this time paired with Stan Getz. The six tracks comprise three Brookmeyer originals, two standards, and Buck Clayton's Love Jumped Out . The Blues Hot & Cold (1960, Verve): Brookmeyer offers a different slant on some swing-era standards, and two of his own tunes, working with a small group comprising Jimmy Rowles on piano, Buddy Clark on bass and Mel Lewis on drums. New Works: Celebration (1997, Challenge): made with the New Art Orchestra, a big band comprising mostly young European musicians. Brookmeyer features here as a soloist, alongside Scott Robinson on the baritone saxophone. Some of the music was written by Brookmeyer for saxophonist, clarinettist and composer Gerry Mulligan, who performed it live in 1994, but died before these recording sessions were organised.