All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Multiple Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

432

Randy Brecker: Some Skunk Funk & Soulbop Band Live

By

Sign in to view read count








Randy Brecker with Michael Brecker
Some Skunk Funk
Telarc Records
2006


Bill Evans and Randy Brecker
Soulbop Band Live
BHM Productions
2005




Randy Brecker's latest recordings are only mainstream because they are generously laced with R&B soul and multifaceted Latin funk. In all other aspects, Brecker, who performs with his younger brother Michael on the first album and saxophonist Bill Evans on the other record, is a jazz persona. Playing the trumpet with charming modesty and composing pieces with surprising introspection, Brecker demonstrates why he should be just as famous as his saxophone-playing brother.

Some Skunk Funk is perhaps the more revealing record, as it illuminates Brecker's movements and style. In 2003, he and Michael performed live in Germany with the WDR Big Band and he composed all but two of the songs on the recording. Though many of the songs (including the catchy fusion title-track, "Some Skunk Funk ) were from the '70s and '80s, when he and Michael were in Dreams, a short-lived band, and the Brecker Brothers, an emblematic jazz-fusion group, the atmosphere of this album is different from his second outing, a 2004 live recording with the rather cheesy title, Soul Bop Band Live.

On the latter album (the one with the tacky title), Brecker performs with Evans along with a crew of stellar players, including guitarist Hiram Bullock and drummer Steve Smith. A sampling of their European summer tour, the record is flavored with a particular ambiance. The musicians feel more experienced and are less eager to please the crowd. Rather, band members perform angular call and responses more for each other than for the audience.

Although Brecker's trumpet comes in with some excellent implementation, Evans and Bullock have more forceful moves. Soul Bop Band Live is less funk and more jazz-rock and Brecker seems to fit better as a trumpeter in the former style. However, when Brecker adds his vocals to the foray in the anti-capitalistic tune "Greed , he is magnetic; his voice is distinctive and it transmits to his trumpet-playing too.

Nonetheless, Brecker does come out stronger in Some Skunk Funk, the 'funkier' of the two records. Here, the entire ensemble has comparably more kinetic energy, due in part to the big band sound expertly arranged by Vince Mendoza. Moreover, when Brecker and his brother perform together, there is a subtle but clear difference in their dynamic. Every swinging tenor solo and climactic trumpet tremolo is laden with impressive effort. The Breckers try harder and they perform for their listeners. Consequently, the album is more satisfying. Furthermore, while both records are mostly comprised of lightweight melodies, Some Skunk Funk doesn't just reminisce about the past and celebrate life with champagne. The brothers round out the album with meaningful overtones in songs like "Levitate , an intense requiem that proves Brecker's magnitude as a trumpeter and "Song for Barry , a tribute Michael composed for Barry Rogers, their former Dreams trombonist. Some Skunk Funk is a better showcase of Brecker's commitment as a performer and ultimately is the superior of the two albums.


Tracks and Personnel

Some Skunk Funk

Tracks: Some Skunk Funk; Sponge; Shanghigh; Wayne Out; And Then She Wept; Strap-hangin'; Let It Go; Freefall; Levitate; Song for Barry.

Personnel: Randy Brecker: Trumpet; Michael Brecker: Tenor Saxophone; Jim Beard: Piano & Synthesizer; Will Lee: Electric bass; Peter Erskine: Drums; Marcio Doctor: Percussion.

Also featuring the WDR Big Band - Heiner Wiberny and Harald Rosenstein: Alto Saxophone; Olivier Peters and Rolf Romer: Tenor Saxophone; Jens Neufang: Baritone Saxophone; Andy Haderer, Rob Bruynen, Klaus Osterloh, Rick Kiefer and John Marshall: Trumpter; Dave Horler, Ludwig Nuss and Bernt Laukamp: Trombone; Mattis Cederberg: Bass trombone; Paul Shigihara: Electric guitar.

Soulbop Band Live

Tracks: Rattletrap; Big Fun; Above & Below; Let's Pretend; Some Skunk Funk; Greed; Soul Bop; Tease Me; Cool Eddie; Mixed Grill; Hangin' In The city; Dixie Hop.

Personnel: Randy Brecker: trumpet, vocals; Bill Evans: Tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Hiram Bullock: guitar, vocals; David Kikoski: keys; Victor Bailey: bass; Steve Smith: drums.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

A Night In Calisia

A Night In Calisia

Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker plays Wlodek...

Sambop

Sambop

Randy Brecker
Randy in Brasil

Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
Catching Up With
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
RandyPOP!

RandyPOP!

Piloo Records and Productions LLC
2015

buy
Dearborn Station

Dearborn Station

Jazzed Media
2015

buy
Night in Calisia

Night in Calisia

Summit Records
2013

buy
Randy Brecker: The Brecker Brothers Band Reunion

Randy Brecker: The...

Piloo Records and Productions LLC
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Jazzing Up Childhood Memories Multiple Reviews
Jazzing Up Childhood Memories
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 4, 2018
Read The Art of the Quintet: Voro Garcia and Magnus Thuelund Multiple Reviews
The Art of the Quintet: Voro Garcia and Magnus Thuelund
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: April 2, 2018
Read The Eclectic Sounds of ears&eyes Multiple Reviews
The Eclectic Sounds of ears&eyes
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: March 27, 2018
Read Iain Matthews: Redefining Eclectic Multiple Reviews
Iain Matthews: Redefining Eclectic
by Doug Collette
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Minimalist Guitar: Clouds and Dreams Multiple Reviews
Minimalist Guitar: Clouds and Dreams
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 23, 2018
Read A Selection of Jazz on Sonorama Multiple Reviews
A Selection of Jazz on Sonorama
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "Another Timbre Celebrates Its First Decade" Multiple Reviews Another Timbre Celebrates Its First Decade
by John Eyles
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Jazz from the US Virgin Islands' new breed" Multiple Reviews Jazz from the US Virgin Islands' new breed
by Nigel Campbell
Published: November 4, 2017
Read "Cassette Plus Download Labels" Multiple Reviews Cassette Plus Download Labels
by John Eyles
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Two Sackville Gems: Abdullah Ibraihim's "Ancient Africa" and Oliver Lake and Joseph Bowie's "Live at A Space 1976"" Multiple Reviews Two Sackville Gems: Abdullah Ibraihim's "Ancient...
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: June 2, 2017
Read "The Possibilities of Percussion: Yarn/Wire & ensemble, et. al" Multiple Reviews The Possibilities of Percussion: Yarn/Wire & ensemble,...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017