Jazz trumpeter Herb Pomeroy, who played with Charlie Parker, backed up Frank Sinatra, and influenced generations of musicians in four decades as a teacher at Berklee College of Music and MIT, died Aug. 11 in Gloucester, Mass. after a long struggle with cancer. He was 77.
Pomeroy played at times with Parker, Charlie Mariano, Stan Kenton, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins and others. In addition to Sinatra, he backed Tony Bennett and Sarah Vaughn.
Pomeroy taught like he played jazz — by improvising, with no notes, no syllabus, no text books, said Larry Monroe, another former student who is now Berklee’s vice president for international affairs.
Above all else, however, Pomeroy was a family man, said his daughter, Perry Pomeroy. He fashioned his career so he could always put family first.
Irving Herbert Pomeroy III was born and raised in Gloucester and began playing music as a teenager. He spent a year at Harvard before leaving to become a full-time musician.