Steven Bernstein, Michael Brecker and the Art of Jazz-Hacking the Pop world - Part 1

Ludovico Granvassu By

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This week we focus on Steven Bernstein and Michael Brecker, the quintessential jazz-hackers of the pop world.

If you heard a compelling saxophone solo on a high-end pop or rock production, especially between the 1970s and 1990s, you could bet it was by Michael Brecker, who over the years has appeared on almost 1000 albums. Likewise, if you have been struck by an elegant yet quirky arrangement on a high-end pop or rock album from the past two decades, the odds were that it had been written by Steven Bernstein.

In today's show we'll be alternating songs featuring Michael Brecker mostly as a soloist but at times as member of top notch horn sections, with tunes that have Steven Bernstein as either a soloist or arranger.

Happy listening!


  • Ben Allison "Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" 0:00
  • Mocean Worker "Right Now" Enter the Mowo! (Hyena) 0:16
  • Host talks 4:26
  • The Players Association "Disco Inferno" Born to Dance (Craft) 7:13
  • Catherine Russell "Poli High" Songs from the Point! (Amano) 12:33
  • Host talks 16:18
  • Esther Phillips "Disposable Society" Performance (Kudu) 19:15
  • The Harlem Experiment "Harlem River Drive" The Harlem Experiment (Ropeadope) 24:29
  • Joni Mitchell "The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines" Shadows and Light (Atlantic) 28:02
  • Marianne Faithfull "Ooh Baby Baby" Easy Come, Easy Go (Deluxe Edition) (naïve) 32:22
  • Host talks 40:35
  • Eric Mingus "Get Happy" Stormy Weather -The Music of Harold Arlen (Sony) 42:25
  • Robert Palmer "You Really Got Me" Double Fun (Island) 46:06
  • Pell "Patience [NOLA]" Patience -Single (PellYeah) 50:27
  • Host talks 53:49
  • Cameo "Candy" Word Up! (Mercury) 55:41
  • Digable Planets "Last of the Spiddyocks" Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space) (Pendulum) 1:00:16
  • Michael Franks "B'wana-He No Home" Sleeping Gypsy (Warner) 1:04:45
  • Host talks 1:09:37
  • Chris Barron "Till the Cows Come Home" Angels and One-Armed Jugglers (Chrysanthemum Songs) 1:11:11
  • Chaka Khan "The Melody Still Lingers On (A Night in Tunisia)" Live at Roxy Theater, June 7, 1981 (YouTube) 1:15:44
  • Lee "Scratch" Perry, Bill Laswell "Dancehall Kung Fu" Rise Again (M.O.D. Technologies) 1:23:39
  • Host talks 1:29:09
  • Barabbas "Do It" Watch-Out (Disconforme) 1:29:43
Photo credit: Roberto Cifarelli (Bernstein)

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