Guest youmustbe

MICHAEL BRECKER

115 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, Guy Berger said:

How do people think about Brecker's role in jazz music vs, say, Chris Potter or Mark Turner?  All 3 seem to be "musician's musicians" in a way.

That's a good point.

Three musicians who are probably all "A listers" but who have surprisingly little cut through to either the more vocal fans or to critics.

I first heard of all of them (or at least heard of Brecker as someone important) in the context of discussions about how they are models for / fashionable amongst students at Berklee or other jazz colleges.

There was a recent episode of the WBGO radio show Jazz United which discussed Brecker's (late) debut solo album. Of the two hosts, Greg Bryant, a musician himself, was an enthusiastic fan of Brecker, whereas Nate Chinen, who out of the two is the voice of the jazz critical establishment, had never heard of the record.

With Brecker, I find myself impressed when I listen closely - to me he is leagues ahead of peers like Lovano or Liebman - but it is easy to let his solos float under the ear if not paying attention. The result is that I listen to the later-named two far more, despite liking them much less.

He is a strangely insignificant A lister.

Edited by Rabshakeh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Rabshakeh said:

 

 

The result is that I listen to the later-named two far more.

I also listen much more to Lieb. And since I mentioned "Chick Corea" there was a world tour in 1978 featuring Liebman, but it seems it was no material was released for record. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, JSngry said:

None of those guys came out of nowhere, far from it 

 

4 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

Well I was there when he was still a very young musician, he and his brother Randy were new heroes, they got very famous both for "Brecker Brothers" and they played very very much on the last Mingus session

How well known were they prior to Steps in straight ahead and fusion loving circles? 

4 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

 they played very very much on the last Mingus session , the most soloes, so they really had something. 

Which record was this? I'm looking at Wikipedia and can't see it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Rabshakeh said:

 

How well known were they prior to Steps in straight ahead and fusion loving circles? 

In my case they just were there suddenly, I hadn´t heard of them before their huge contributions on "Me Myself an Eye" and thought who are they. Then the next year they performed as the Brecker Brothers, but some of the older folks didn´t like it. 
So I´m not sure if Mike Brecker was so well known over here in Europe before people bought that last Mingus album and eventually the remainder of the session on "Something like a Bird". 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I first heard Michael on that first Dreams album. Then on a Horace Silver record. Both were with Randy onboard. The there was his solo on James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight". Then with The Brecker Brothers albums - "Sneaking Up Behind You" was a pop hit, and "Some Skunk Funk" was/is a "cult classic". So he was a very well-known quantity before Steps.

Both Michael and Randy did a good amount of session dates, and Michael stood out everywhere he showed up. But he never really attempted to create a "straight-ahead" profile. Until all that had died down Check him out on Cameo's "Candy", that has become an iconic moment for players of a certain ilk.

Along the way, he'd do the oddball "straight ahead session, like with Joanne Brackeen or Hal Galper, but those were always on low-profile labels. So when he showed up on 80/81, it was a bit of a WTF? moment for a lot of people. I remember Bob Belden talking about it and smirking that "Ok, everybody thinks that Michael Brecker can play now because he's on a side with Dewey".

That was snide, but not inaccurate. He was playing a lot of flash, but not a lot of meat, imo. To his credit, apparently felt the same way, and spend the rest of his life being humble and working hard to keep digging deeper. Me, I didn't really care, but I came to respect the hell out of him, and do understand the high esteem in which he came to be held.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, JSngry said:

I first heard Michael on that first Dreams album. Then on a Horace Silver record. Both were with Randy onboard. The there was his solo on James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight". Then with The Brecker Brothers albums - "Sneaking Up Behind You" was a pop hit, and "Some Skunk Funk" was/is a "cult classic". So he was a very well-known quantity before Steps.

Both Michael and Randy did a good amount of session dates, and Michael stood out everywhere he showed up. But he never really attempted to create a "straight-ahead" profile. Until all that had died down Check him out on Cameo's "Candy", that has become an iconic moment for players of a certain ilk.

Along the way, he'd do the oddball "straight ahead session, like with Joanne Brackeen or Hal Galper, but those were always on low-profile labels. So when he showed up on 80/81, it was a bit of a WTF? moment for a lot of people. I remember Bob Belden talking about it and smirking that "Ok, everybody thinks that Michael Brecker can play now because he's on a side with Dewey".

That was snide, but not inaccurate. He was playing a lot of flash, but not a lot of meat, imo. To his credit, apparently felt the same way, and spend the rest of his life being humble and working hard to keep digging deeper. Me, I didn't really care, but I came to respect the hell out of him, and do understand the high esteem in which he came to be held.

Damn, I love Candy (and most Cameo for that matter) and didn't know he was on that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Admittedly I'm more familiar with the 12" version of Candy which is stripped down and IIRC doesn't have the solo...but that is badass. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Dub Modal said:

Damn, I love Candy (and most Cameo for that matter) and didn't know he was on that. 

I was just excitedly texting my friends the same thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have any friends who are James Taylor fans, send them this too. It was really cool to his this type of tenor playing on the Top 40 radio back the!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, JSngry said:

If you have any friends who are James Taylor fans, send them this too. It was really cool to his this type of tenor playing on the Top 40 radio back the!

 

Several guys I know used to swear by JT when entertaining a date. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What was cool about having Brecker on that record was that here was a guy playing changes in a traditional manner. At the time, people like Tom Scott were setting the standard for how to play tenor on a pop record, you know, all that hooty-tooty stuff. Brecker certainly could and did do that, but here, it's back to some early Traneballad language. Kinda jumped out of the radio, it did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding Brecker, I played the '96 album Tales from the Hudson...it was good, but not something I'd return to much and didn't inspire me to look at other solo records of his; although I have and enjoy that first Steps Ahead record. 

I also have him as sideman/appearance on a few records: Bob James' Heads, Fagan's Nightfly, and Mulligan's Little Big Horn (which I don't like much); and these are a bit outside the scope of a traditional jazz setting. 

But damn, his credits list is amazing and impressive. This guy worked a lot, so to his credit all his woodshedding definitely paid off. 

 

 

6 minutes ago, JSngry said:

What was cool about having Brecker on that record was that here was a guy playing changes in a traditional manner. At the time, people like Tom Scott were setting the standard for how to play tenor on a pop record, you know, all that hooty-tooty stuff. Brecker certainly could and did do that, but here, it's back to some early Traneballad language. Kinda jumped out of the radio, it did.

And barely 30 seconds of such...Gorelick wishes he could do something like that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Dub Modal said:

And barely 30 seconds of such...Gorelick wishes he could do something like that. 

Yeah, Gorelick only got 20 seconds but at least he got paid to play himself in the video.

G's solo is at 3:55 and they even make fun of his sax playing if you watch it to the end. :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, bresna said:

Yeah, Gorelick only got 20 seconds but at least he got paid to play himself in the video.

G's solo is at 3:55 and they even make fun of his sax playing if you watch it to the end. :)

 

I think there's a chance that Uncle Kenny isn't even playing that sax part on the audio track - can't find an official credit online at least. So there's the possibility he was just a cameo in the video. This is similar to his cameo in that Bad Mom's Xmas movie where he's also self deprecating. If he is/isn't playing in this song, this seems like more in line with the hoot/toot pop playing Jim references above. Brecker definitely brought more sophistication and style to the table I'd say...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

Miles Davis also did a, uh, cameo with Cameo:

 

I dig it :tup

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

Miles Davis also did a, uh, cameo with Cameo:

 

Those were the days 😎 ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dub Modal said:

Fagan's Nightfly,

I loved that album and I'm not sure I knew it was Brecker. I may need to dig it out for a spin now

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah, guess I associated Brecker more with pop than with real straight-ahead playing, even though that's patently inaccurate. 

Randy shows up everywhere though... I have him on Bob Moses' Bittersuite in the Ozone, a couple of Duke Pearson records, and Everything Is Everything "Just Flash in the Cosmic Pan." Probably other albums too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Dub Modal said:

I dig it :tup

One of the things I like best about the 1986-1991: The Warner Years set is how they gather all of Miles' sideman appearances from that era on the fifth disc.  

Regarding Michael Brecker, I think I posted this in the jazz radio forum shortly after the interview, but a fair amount of interesting stuff here about Brecker's time at IU, as well as several audience recordings of him playing in Bloomington in the late 1960s:  Michael Brecker In Late-1960s Bloomington, Indiana

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't Phil Woods make a bunch of money guesting on pop tunes like Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the kids who've get to get to the old stuff, here's the solo that got people's attention about Michael Brecker, first few minutes of Side Two. Dreams was a really interesting cast of characters...never made a truly great record, but this is as close as they go, and was supposedly the closest they came to replicating what they did live.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, bresna said:

Didn't Phil Woods make a bunch of money guesting on pop tunes like Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are"?

And per Phil's autobiography, the producer picked notes from different takes to make up that solo.

Phil Woods was Kenny G before Kenny G was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.