Content Type

This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Bob Mover


BOB MOVER (saxophonist) was born on March 22, 1952 in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. He started playing the saxophone when he was 13. Two years later, Phil Woods heard him in a high school All Star Band in Miami, and awarded him a scholarship to study with him that summer at Ramblerny Camp for the Performing Arts in Pennsylvania.

While still in high school, Mover had already had the opportunity to sit in with luminaries including Roy Eldridge, Wynton Kelly, Zoot Sims, Kenny Dorham, James Moody, Jimmy Rushing, Anita O’Day, Richie Kamuca, Charles Davis, and Chubby Jackson, and while in his early 20s, performed as guest soloist with the University of Miami Jazz Ensemble. When he was 21, Mover joined Charles Mingus for a five-month engagement in New York City, and played with Chet Baker’s group for nine months before leaving for Brazil in 1974 to work with Samba legends Johnny Alf and Lucio Alves.

He returned to New York City in 1975, and rejoined Baker, working all of the major New York City clubs, performing at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and touring the mid-west and California. He toured Europe with Baker the same year, appearing at major festivals in Nice, Holland, and Belgium. He parted company with Baker to go out on his own at the end of 1975, leading his own groups around New York and elsewhere, and for the first time, recording under his own name. For several years, he led his own illustrious quartets and quintets at Sweet Basil in Greenwich Village, and during the same period, co-led a group with Lee Kontiz, playing in concerts and clubs throughout North America and recording. After a period living in Boston where he taught Improvisation Workshops at Berklee College of Music while also holding down several regular gigs with his own groups and others, Bob Mover rejoined Chet Baker in the Spring of 1981, this time touring France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Austria, and Germany, while also making two recordings: ‘Chet Baker Live at Salt Peanuts Club’ Volumes 1 & 2 (Circle). Returning to New York City later that year, Mover continued to work with Baker as well as on his own, and recorded on the Xanadu label.

He relocated in Montreal where, from 1983 to 1986, he taught at Concordia University and recorded his 5th album as a leader, ‘The Nightbathers’ (Justin Time) featuring improvisations by Paul Bley and John Abercrombie. Moving to Toronto in 1987, he appeared frequently in local clubs, and in 1988, began a touring partnership based in NYC with Walter Davis Jr., touring with him to concerts and festivals throughout Europe and North America, and recording with him until he died in 1990. Mover maintained his Toronto base until 1997, during which time he created a ’Musicianship for Jazz Singers’ Course at York University, and continued his European touring schedule. After a stint teaching at New Jersey City University in New York, a West Coast tour in 2001, a short stay in Portland, Oregon, and a brief return to Toronto in 2004, Bob Mover returned to Manhattan where he currently resides.

The Bob Mover Quintet performed during the “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Concert Series at the Ontario Science Centre on March 14, 1988. He played saxophone with the Toronto Jazz Quartet in the same series on October 23, 1995.