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ALBUM REVIEWS

Randy Brecker: Rocks

Read "Rocks" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

The easiest answer isn't always the best answer, but sometimes it is. So it's both easy and proper to point out that trumpet and flugelhorn master, composer, and bandleader Randy Brecker was kind enough to simultaneously review his release with the NDR Bigband, the Hamburg Radio Jazz Orchestra, when he titled it Rocks. Assembled for the recording studio after Brecker finished two acclaimed tours of Europe with the NDR Bigband, Rocks recapitulates tunes that Brecker has written through ...

FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Big Bands, Orchestras and Soft Machines

Read "Big Bands, Orchestras and Soft Machines" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Randy Brecker & NDR Bigband Rocks Piloo Records & Productions LLC 2019 The easiest answer isn't always the best answer, but sometimes it is. So it's both easy and proper to point out that trumpet and flugelhorn master, composer, and bandleader Randy Brecker was kind enough to simultaneously review his release with the NDR Bigband, the Hamburg Radio Jazz Orchestra, when he titled it Rocks. Assembled for the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Randy Brecker with the NDR Big Band - The Hamburg Jazz Orchestra: Rocks

Read "Rocks" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Randy Brecker has been at the forefront of jazz since the late 1960s. His debut album as leader way back in 1969 was Score (Solid State). In addition to numerous albums under his own name he's also recorded with George Benson, Duke Pearson, Dreams and Larry Coryell's Eleventh House, to name just a few. But perhaps he is best known for the albums he produced with his younger brother, the late Michael Brecker as The Brecker Brothers. Lest people forget ...

FILM REVIEWS

Randy Brecker Quintet: Live at Sweet Basil 1988

Read "Randy Brecker Quintet: Live at Sweet Basil 1988" reviewed by John Kelman

Randy Brecker Quintet Live at Sweet Basil 1988 MVDvisual2018 Culled from direct-to-two-track digital recordings made on three of Randy Brecker's potent six-night 1988 run at New York City's Sweet Basil, and featuring a particularly top-drawer quintet of musical friends old and new, the original 1989 LP/CD release of Live at Sweet Basil (GNP Crescendo in North America, Sonet elsewhere) has long been out of print. That the original version featured seven broad-ranging Brecker compositions, performed ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Randy Brecker: Hittin' It with "RandyPOP!"

Read "Randy Brecker:  Hittin' It with "RandyPOP!"" reviewed by Bob Kenselaar

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Randy Brecker: RandyPOP!

Read "RandyPOP!" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Randy Brecker with the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble: Dearborn Station

Read "Dearborn Station" reviewed by Edward Blanco

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Randy Brecker with the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble: Dearborn Station

Read "Dearborn Station" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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

Read "Randy Brecker:  A Fusion Legacy" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

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

The Brecker Brothers Band Reunion

Read "The Brecker Brothers Band Reunion" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Randy Brecker: Night in Calisia

Read "Night in Calisia" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

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

Read "Randy Brecker with DR Big Band: The Jazz Ballad Song Book" reviewed by Andrew J. Sammut

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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