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Michael Brecker

Michael Brecker was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and exposed to jazz at an early age by his father, an amateur jazz pianist. Among the generation of jazz musicians that saw rock music not as the enemy but as a viable musical option, Brecker began studying clarinet, then moved to alto saxophone in school, eventually settling on the tenor saxophone as his primary instrument. After only a year at Indiana University, Michael Brecker moved to New York City in 1970 where he carved out a niche for himself as a dynamic and exciting jazz soloist. He first made his mark at age 21 as a member of the jazz/rock band Dreams—a band that included his older brother Randy, trombonist Barry Rogers, drummer Billy Cobham, Jeff Kent and Doug Lubahn

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mike Barone Big Band: Brazil

Read "Brazil" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Brazil doesn't signify that the venerable California-based composer / arranger Mike Barone has gone Latin; it simply means that “Brazil" is the opening number and the name Barone chose for the latest in his long-running series of remarkable big-band albums. No matter, as a Barone recording by any other name would be every inch as inspired ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Sting: An English (Jazz-)Man In New York - Part 2

Read "Sting: An English (Jazz-)Man In New York - Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Although Sting is mostly known for his solo career and, before that, for fronting one of the most epic band of all times, The Police, his love for jazz has been a common thread throughout his career. His jazz sensibility became more prominent when he started his solo career with the album The Dream of the ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Hal Galper: Adventures In The Zone

Read "Hal Galper: Adventures In The Zone" reviewed by Paul Rauch

The career of Hal Galper has earned the pianist acclaim as both a performer and educator. Perhaps most importantly, it has drawn attention to his contributions to the music as a true innovator. While other pianists of his era gained more recognition, Galper sought out a career path where acclaim would be genuine among his peers ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

The Genius of Kenny Kirkland - Part 1

Read "The Genius of Kenny Kirkland - Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

On September 28th, Kenny Kirkland would have turned 65. This week we celebrate his legacy as leader or co-leader, as side-man invited to add power and sophistication to the bands he joined, and as composer, through renditions of his music by peers and contemporary musicians. Among these, pianist Noah Haidu has recently released the first-ever album ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Essential Michael Brecker

Read "Essential Michael Brecker" reviewed by Jason West

This article was originally published at All About Jazz in November 1999. Michael Brecker's contributions to music are generous and, like the pregnant ideas that flow from his tenor horn, they continue to grow. At 50, the saxophonist has found acceptance in a wide variety of musical settings, having performed with pop stars like ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

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

Read "Steven Bernstein, Michael Brecker and the Art of Jazz-Hacking the Pop world - Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

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 ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Michael Brecker, Steven Bernstein and the Art of Jazz-Hacking the Pop World - Part 2

Read "Michael Brecker, Steven Bernstein and the Art of Jazz-Hacking the Pop World - Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

This is the second part of our exploration of Michael Brecker's and Steven Bernstein's work as first-call musicians in the world of high-end pop productions. Their capacity to adapt to the demands of these productions while remaining true to their jazz roots has offered millions of listeners that might have looked at jazz with ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Randy Brecker & Eric Marienthal: Aces

Read "Randy Brecker & Eric Marienthal: Aces" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Randy Brecker certainly needs no introduction. Neither does Eric Marienthal. But the fact that they have joined forces on a new record is something to talk about. That's exactly what we did, and then some. We went deep into the record, when we weren't busy having a laugh or two. Then there were memories of Michael ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tom Ranier: This Way

Read "This Way" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The versatile multi-instrumentalist Tom Ranier has enjoyed a busy career, playing pop styles, electronic music and jazz. Prolific as a collaborator—Terry Gibbs, George Coleman, Placido Domingo—he also boasts a grounding in classical music. This Way features Rainier playing mostly his own compositions on piano, synthesizers, saxophones and clarinets, with some help from his friends, guitarist Thom ...


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