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INTERVIEWS

Wouter Turkenburg: Jazz Education in the New Millennium

Read "Wouter Turkenburg: Jazz Education in the New Millennium" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6All About Jazz and Wouter Turkenburg would like to dedicate this interview to the memory of saxophonist Michael Brecker (1949-2007). In addition to his prodigious accomplishments as an instrumentalist and band leader, Brecker was an exceptional worldwide teacher and mentor, both by example and instruction in countless workshops and classes. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

UMO Jazz Orchestra with Michael Brecker: Live in Helsinki 1995

Read "Live in Helsinki 1995" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If your fondness for big-band jazz includes searching for hidden treasures, here's a recently uncovered gem that should more than gladden your spirit: a concert recording from 1995 by Finland's superb UMO Jazz Orchestra featuring the renowned tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker who left us far too soon a dozen years later at age fifty-seven. The impeccably preserved performance at Helsinki's Royal Cotton Club finds Brecker in his customarily assertive mode, sprinting through ten engaging compositions that run the gamut from ...

INTERVIEWS

Michael Brecker: He Can Groove Any Way You Want

Read "Michael Brecker: He Can Groove Any Way You Want" reviewed by Mike Brannon

This article was originally published at All About Jazz in August 1998. Once one half of the world renown Brecker Brothers and full time studio legend, tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker relinquished that throne to form a group and deliver his own material. Though the Coltrane influence is present in spirit, its simultaneously transcended, skewered even, by the sheer strength and personality of Brecker's tone and seemingly infinite permutations of major seventh laden linear expressions. Although he ...

REDISCOVERY

Michael Brecker: Now You See It...(Now You Don't)

Read "Michael Brecker: Now You See It...(Now You Don't)" reviewed by John Kelman

Michael Brecker Now You See It...(Now You Don't)MCA1990 Today's Rediscovery is Now You See It...(Now You Don't), by saxophone giant Michael Brecker. After the one-two punch of his first two recordings as a leader (excluding his 1982 collaboration with Claus Ogerman, Cityscape)-- Michael Brecker (Impulse!, 1987) and Don't Try This At Home (Impulse!, 1988), both featuring high profile guests including Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette and Herbie Hancock--Now You See It...(Now You ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Michael Brecker: Pilgrimage & Seraphic Light

Read "Michael Brecker: Pilgrimage & Seraphic Light" reviewed by Tom Greenland

Michael Brecker Pilgrimage Heads Up International 2007 Saxophone Summit Seraphic Light Telarc 2008

Michael Brecker (tenor sax) was a musicians' musician, with jaw-dropping chops and a unique and highly influential harmonic and melodic style. Pilgrimage, his last recording, was made shortly before he passed on Jan. 13th, 2007 from myelodysplastic syndrome. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Brecker: Pilgrimage

Read "Pilgrimage" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

Michael Brecker is said to be the most influential tenor saxophonist in jazz since John Coltrane. A thirteen-time Grammy award winner who has achieved numerous other honors, he was a fixture on the scene from the early 1970s until his death earlier this year. With his brother, trumpeter Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker performed with Horace Silver's quintet before the pair started their own fusion group, The Brecker Brothers. Brecker later joined drummer Steve Gadd in forming Steps ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Brecker: Pilgrimage

Read "Pilgrimage" reviewed by Samuel Chell

If there's any solace to be gained from the dramatic, heart-rending final months of Michael Brecker's life, it's that perhaps some of the attention bestowed upon this towering musician and exemplary human being will be directed to the vital African-American art form that he influenced and contributed to. As recently as 1990, the average life span of jazz musicians was estimated to be 43, with the cases of saxophone legends Charlie Parker (who died at the age of 34) and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Brecker: Pilgrimage

Read "Pilgrimage" reviewed by Troy Collins

Tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker lost his ongoing bout with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare bone marrow cancer, in January 2007. Pilgrimage provides one last chance to hear him in the company of like-minded souls. Joined by a who's who of mainstream jazz royalty, guitarist Pat Metheny, pianists Herbie Hancock and Brad Mehldau, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Jack DeJohnette accompany the saxophonist on this superlative session.

Brecker began his career as a session player in the early 1970s, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Michael Brecker: Pilgrimage

Read "Michael Brecker: Pilgrimage" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The importance of saxophonist Michael Brecker's final recording, Pilgrimage, is densely multidimensional. The romantically inclined will attach significance to the fact that the nine compositions were conceived and recorded while Brecker was aware of the gravity of his final illness. Pilgrimage falls into an artistic/musical category that includes such disparate music as Mozart's Requiem, Puccini's Turandot, Billie Holiday's Lady In Satin and Johnny Cash's American Recordings, Volumes 5 & 6. All of these examples were conceived during the artists' autumnal ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Brecker: Pilgrimage

Read "Pilgrimage" reviewed by John Kelman

Michael Brecker's tragic death in January 2007, at the age of fifty-seven, robbed the world of perhaps the most influential saxophonist to emerge since the equally untimely passing of John Coltrane. It's easy to forget that he was one of the pop/rock world's most called-upon studio players, recording on hundreds of albums with artists including James Taylor, Paul Simon and Eric Clapton. But it's his prodigious body of work in the jazz realm that will be his most enduring legacy.

LIVE REVIEWS

Michael Brecker: Celebration of a Healer

Read "Michael Brecker: Celebration of a Healer" reviewed by Bill Siegel

Michael Brecker Memorial Town Hall, New York February 20, 2007

Town Hall was the scene for a spirited memorial service for Michael Brecker, universally acclaimed as one of the most influential jazz sax players since John Coltrane--and certainly among the most productive and ubiquitous: think of a name in innovative jazz or pop, and chances are Brecker's sax has been in the studio or on stage with them--from McCoy Tyner to Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock to ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Memories of Michael Brecker: Town Hall Tribute

Read "Memories of Michael Brecker: Town Hall Tribute" reviewed by Ralph A. Miriello

Michael Brecker Memorial Town Hall, Manhattan February 20, 2007

Last night, my companion Stefania and I took a train ride from Connecticut into Manhattan to pay homage to a fallen musician. Michael Brecker, the prolific and well respected saxophonist, had passed away five weeks prior at a hospital in New York after a long-standing battle with MDS (myelodyplastic syndrome). It was a little publicized memorial at Town Hall in midtown Manhattan, and I for one, ...