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MICHAEL BRECKER

115 posts in this topic

Some records are built like movies, others like live theatre.

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8 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

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

I was at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival under5 the auspices of Down Beat where Randy Sandke and Brecker played (Randy is a longtime friend of mine). Later that year, Randy, Brecker and some others were sharing in an apartment in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood when a female member of their crowd downed some acid and jumped out a third- or -fourth-story window to her death. This led to significant hassling by the police, as weil it might have.

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I remember listening to 

17 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

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.

My sense is that Turner has "more cred" among jazz critics than the other two, and that Potter might be in the middle between Turner and Brecker.  (For that matter, critics seem to like Lovano, but are mostly silent about Liebman.)

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None of the wheedledeedle players excite me, then or now, with the sometimes exception of Donnie McCaslin. He sounds like he's putting some groin into it.

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

None of the wheedledeedle players excite me, then or now

+1

10 hours ago, JSngry said:

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.

 

Good twofer can be had on BGO.  The first album was really quite interesting, with some good pop on the first side ("Holly Be Home" is actually quite stunning, and  along with some strong and interesting jazz on the second side, though very of it's time (ca. 1970).  Jazz guys (Breckers, Abercrombie, Cobham) along with some basically invisible rock guys whose future credits included playing bass for Billy Squier, playing with Clarence Clemons, studio work with the Weather Girls.  The second album was actually pretty awful, as they brought in Steve Cropper of Booker T. & the M.G.'s to produce, further muddying the already opaque waters.

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6 hours ago, JSngry said:

None of the wheedledeedle players excite me, then or now, with the sometimes exception of Donnie McCaslin.

What’s the opposite of the wheedledeedle school? 

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Did I mention Hal Galper 5tet ""Reach Out" on SteepleChase 😎 ....

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7 hours ago, felser said:

+1

Good twofer can be had on BGO.  The first album was really quite interesting, with some good pop on the first side ("Holly Be Home" is actually quite stunning, and  along with some strong and interesting jazz on the second side, though very of it's time (ca. 1970).  Jazz guys (Breckers, Abercrombie, Cobham) along with some basically invisible rock guys whose future credits included playing bass for Billy Squier, playing with Clarence Clemons, studio work with the Weather Girls. 

Also in the group was Barry Rogers, Don Grolnick, and Will Lee, all of whom phad very solid cred. 

I forget which came first, but a group called White Elephant figures into all of this as well. There was a whole scene of jazzporock marauders in the early 80s, they all knew each other, they all played where they could, and Mike Manieri was also in the thick of it.

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4 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

What’s the opposite of the wheedledeedle school? 

The wheedlewheedle school, they don't bother with any deedle. Even more annoying.

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5 hours ago, JSngry said:

Also in the group was Barry Rogers, Don Grolnick, and Will Lee, all of whom phad very solid cred. 

I forget which came first, but a group called White Elephant figures into all of this as well. There was a whole scene of jazzporock marauders in the early 80s, they all knew each other, they all played where they could, and Mike Manieri was also in the thick of it.

Yeah, White Elephant was technically first but operated at the same time, 1969-1971 was a Mainieri project that included Rodgers and the Brecker Bros at times, but had a rotating cast.   I've heard it, not nearly as strong as the first Dreams album.   Others included Red Beans and Rice (Ray Draper, etc.), Compost (DeJohnette, Harold Vick, Bob Moses), third iteration of Blood, Sweat and Tears (Joe Henderson, Larry Willis, Lew Soloff, Dave Bargeron), Ars Nova (Jimmy Owens, Warren Bernhardt, Sam Brown), If (Dick Morrissey, Terry Smith), third iteration of Soft Machine (Karl Jenkins, Roy Babbington, John Marshall) and plenty more I'm forgetting or not aware of.   Tim Hardin's backing band on Tim Hardin 3: Live (his best album) was a small group which included Mainieri, Bernhardt, and Eddie Gomez.   Richard Davis and Bill Lee did a lot of session work on "pop" albums for companies like Vanguard and Chess. Cyrus Faryar used Oregon as the backing group on his debut Elektra album.  It was all very fluid and exciting.

Edited by felser

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21 minutes ago, felser said:

Yeah, White Elephant was technically first but operated at the same time, 1969-1971 was a Mainieri project that included Rodgers and the Brecker Bros at times, but had a rotating cast. 

The name in there that always intrigued me was Frank Vicari. I knew him from Maynard's and Woody's mid-late 60s bands, Really solid bebop player, and and then off he goes into this whole other thing. Studio work, but also a taste for the off-beat-ish pop stuff as well, including Tom Waits. Must have been a bit of a free spirit, or else one of those guys who just followed the good weed wherever that led. I don't know, just thinking out loud.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Vicari

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6 minutes ago, JSngry said:

The name in there that always intrigued me was Frank Vicari. I knew him from Maynard's and Woody's mid-late 60s bands, Really solid bebop player, and and then off he goes into this whole other thing. Studio work, but also a taste for the off-beat-ish pop stuff as well, including Tom Waits. Must have been a bit of a free spirit, or else one of those guys who just followed the good weed wherever that led. I don't know, just thinking out loud.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Vicari

Wow, not familiar with him, but looking at the credits, bet he's the only guy that ever played with all of the following:  Woody Herman, James Brown, John Lennon.  Quite a trifecta.

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Here he was with Maynard:

 

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