Jazz Articles

CATCHING UP WITH

Randy Brecker: Hittin' It with "RandyPOP!"

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In his 62 years playing music--starting trumpet at eight years old--Randy Brecker has played all kinds of music, but for many years now, he's mostly been known as a solid, top-flight, first-call jazz player, a modern post-bop soloist and bandleader who carries around his old '70s fusion-funk Brecker Brothers fame in his back pocket. So, with a new CD called RandyPOP!, you might think he's changing direction entirely to make a foray into the land of Katy Perry or Justin ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Randy Brecker: RandyPOP!

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This album gives new meaning to the idea of rewriting history. Before trumpeter Randy Brecker had ascended to the top rung on the jazz ladder he was making his mark as a hired gun in studios and on stages. His horn can be heard on numerous classic recordings, including those of James Brown, Donald Fagen, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, and, of course, Blood, Sweat & Tears. Now, just as Brecker is about to enter the septuagenarian club, he's taken an ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Randy Brecker with the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble: Dearborn Station

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The renowned DePaul University Jazz Ensemble continues a tradition begun more than twenty years ago by performing and recording at the oldest historic jazz club in Chicago, the Jazz Showcase located in the historic 'Printer's Row' district of the Dearborn Station area. The Dearborn Station live recording also maintains another on-going tradition and that is documenting sensational sessions of big band music with an icon of jazz this time, with the phenomenal trumpeter Randy Brecker. Musical Director and renowned trumpeter ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Randy Brecker with the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble: Dearborn Station

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Dearborn Station, the tenth album recorded by the superb DePaul University Jazz Ensemble at Joe Segal's legendary Jazz Showcase (in Chicago's historic Dearborn Station, hence the title), is another bright and rhythmic tour de force for director / trumpeter Bob Lark's intrepid undergrads and their special guest, trumpeter Randy Brecker, whose perceptive solos enhance the first half-dozen of the album's nine tracks. On the last of the six, Lark and Brecker join forces to fan the flames on Tom Matta's ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Randy Brecker: A Fusion Legacy

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On stage at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland last July, the ubiquitous trumpeter Randy Brecker lowered his horn after playing two joyous and funky numbers on the stage that is one of the festivals largest venues, serving as a hockey arena during the appropriate season. There were throngs of people, sitting and standing, gleefully taking in the music. After wiping his forehead, Brecker formally announced his group: the Brecker Brothers Reunion Band. “We play FUSION," he ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Randy Brecker: The Brecker Brothers Band Reunion

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With the tragic passing of Michael Brecker in 2007 at the all-too-young age of 57, it seemed that the flagship group the Brecker Brothers, co-led by the saxophonist with his trumpet-wielding older brother Randy, was also to be a thing of the past. But some things never die; as it was, during the saxophonist's lifetime, the horn-led band that defined the term “downtown funk" and an edgy, urban sound that could only have come from New York City seemed to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Randy Brecker: Night in Calisia

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The waters of history significantly bathe Kalisz, Poland's oldest city. Specifically, they source back when Kalisz was an important stop on the Amber Road to Rome. Historical streams of another type also run broadly through this exuberantly satisfying recording offered by the triumvirate of trumpeter, Randy Brecker, pianist/composer Wlodek Pawlik, and the hometown Kalisz Philharmonic.This is a sprawling, beautiful and inspiring performance which, through Pawlik's effusive musical pageantry, Brecker's outstanding playing, and the orchestra's hometown fervor, appropriately helped ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Randy Brecker with DR Big Band: The Jazz Ballad Song Book

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Randy Brecker with DR Big Band The Jazz Ballad Song Book HalfNote Records 2011 On The Jazz Ballad Song Book, trumpeter Randy Brecker, the Danish Radio Big Band and Danish National Chamber Orchestra approach the slow, wistful side of this repertoire as one dimension among others. They expand their view outside of standards to include film works, lesser-known tunes and original compositions. As featured soloist, Brecker displays the colossal tone, impeccable ...


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