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MUSICIAN Born:

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: 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 ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Steve Khan: A Rich Discography and A Priceless Left Hand

Read "Steve Khan: A Rich Discography and A Priceless Left Hand" reviewed by Jim Worsley

The life and times of guitarist extraordinaire Steve Khan stretch through a high volume of evolving chapters that fuse together like the passages of a finely crafted arrangement. An expansive conversation with Khan touched on a variety of memories. Still, this is perhaps the Reader's Digest version of the seventy-three years old musician and composer's remarkable ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Greta Matassa

Read "20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Greta Matassa" reviewed by Paul Rauch

The city of Seattle has a jazz history that dates back to the very beginnings of the form. It was home to the first integrated club scene in America on Jackson St in the 1920's and 30's. It saw a young Ray Charles arrive as a teenager to escape the nightmare of Jim Crow in the ...

Bill Stewart Interview

Read "Bill Stewart Interview" reviewed by Mike Brannon

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in May 2002. Upon joining The John Scofield group in the mid '80s it seemed like drummer Bill Stewart just appeared out of nowhere. They of course did a number of tours and studio dates together while word got around about Stewart's ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Rudresh Mahanthappa: "Just because you're improvising doesn't mean you're playing jazz."

Read "Rudresh Mahanthappa: "Just because you're improvising doesn't mean you're playing jazz."" reviewed by Leo Sidran

Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa on his early development, the journey through music schools, cruise ships and merengue bands that ultimately led him to New York, exploring one's personal identity through music, teaching jazz in a non conservatory environment, Sesame Street, and a casual analysis of saxophone on popular recordings in the '80s. He also discusses his new ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Highlights of Jazz in the Early 1990s (1987 - 1994)

Read "Highlights of Jazz in the Early 1990s (1987 - 1994)" reviewed by Russell Perry

This is the 95th of 100 programs in the Jazz at 100 series. For 94 programs, we have moved on a roughly chronological path through 100 years of jazz recordings, following trends, introducing major players and stylistic evolutions. As we approach the present, we face the historian's dilemma: in more recent music, what performances will have ...


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