A true stylist who has performed with a who's who of jazz, pop and jazz-fusion artists, trumpeter Randy Brecker's latest solo effort includes his equally renowned brother, saxophonist Michael Brecker and vibraphonist Joe Locke along with perennial studio musicians; guitarist Hiram Bullock, bassist Will Lee and others. Here, Brecker injects a bit of whimsy into a set consisting of funk-groove rhythms, hip-hop, tight horn charts, synths, drum programming and everything and anything producer George Whitty decided to utilize for this sadly over-produced outing. With "Overture," the band conveys a party atmosphere via nondescript themes and Brecker's moderately amusing yet altogether silly rap, while "Wayne Out" features more of the same, although guitarist Adams Rogers generates a bit of much needed interest, thanks to his heated soloing.
The rap-funk saga continues with the title track "Hangin In The City," whereas Brecker elevates the excitement level a notch or two with rapid fire sixteenth notes during the Brecker Brothers-like composition titled, "Down For The Count." However, the band executes a relatively soulless blues motif amid Brecker's verbose and at times, squirrelly vocals on "Then I Came 2 My Senses." Basically, the trumpeter's latest musical visions and aspirations surge forth as being unintentionally sterile, overtly hi-tech and are perhaps more conducive for sneaker ads. Thus, Hangin' In The City beckons this writer, to make a beeline for the country.
Track Listing: Overture; Wayne Out; Hangin? In The City; I Talk to the Trees; Down For The Count; Pastoral; (To Jaco); Then I Came 2 My Senses; Seattle; Never Tell Her U Love Her; I Been through This Before; One Thing Led To Another
Personnel: Randy Brecker; trumpet, flugelhorn: Michael Brecker; tenor saxophone: George Whitty; keyboards & programming: Hiram Bullock; guitar, background vocals: Adam Rogers; guitar: Dean Brown; guitar: Joe Caro; guitar: Chris Minh Doky; acoustic & electric bass: Will Lee; electric bass, background vocals: Richard Bona; electric bass: Joe Locke; vibraphone: Don Alias; percussion: Mike Harvey; background vocals: Katreese Barnes; background vocals: Randroid (Randy Brecker); vocals
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me. As a life-long jazz lover, I eventually became a jazz educator and producer/host of a very popular jazz radio program in Los Angeles, California.
I love jazz because it is so free. I can think, feel, and dream to jazz, and it allows my mind to flow and expand, musically and otherwise. I also love jazz because it, much like other forms of music, allows opportunities to bring people from all walks of life together. What makes jazz more significant to me, though, is its historical significance; that is, how jazz served, in part, as a method of bringing communities together, a cultural/social/spiritual conduit.