Sunday, November 29, 2009


Trumpet player Randy Brecker was born into a very musical family on November 27, 1945 in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia. His father Bob is a pianist, songwriter and singer who loved to listen to recordings of the great jazz trumpet players such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown and has been shaping the sound of Jazz, R&B and Rock for more than three decades.

His trumpet and flugelhorn performances have graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Chaka Khan, George Benson and Parliament-Funkadelics to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, David Sanborn, Horace Silver, Jaco Pastorius and Frank Zappa. Randy Brecker's history is as varied as it is distinguished.

Randy spent summers in stage-band camps where he got his earliest experience in ensemble playing. He began playing R&B and funk in local bar bands while in his teens, but at the same time he had an ear for hard bop. "I'd listen to Sonny Rollins, Lee Morgan, Miles' Quintets, Art Blakey, Horace Silver, the Clifford Brown/Max Roach group." After finishing high school. He attended Indiana University where after winning the 1965 Notre Dame Jazz festival, the IU Jazz Band was awarded a 3 month State Dept. tour of the Middle East and Asia.

In 1966, he moved to New York City. Some of his first gigs upon arriving there were with Clark Terry's Big Band, the Thad Jones/ Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra and the Duke Pearson Big Band with whom he recorded 2 albums. Randy also began his foray into jazz-rock by joining Blood, Sweat and Tears. He worked with BS&T for a year and played on their innovative 1968 debut, Child is Father to the Man. Randy left BS&T to join the Horace Silver Quintet. "BS&T was a very structured situation...I needed to stretch out and play." In 1968, Randy recorded his first album as a leader, Score (re-issued in 1993 on Blue Note), which also featured 19 year-old Michael Brecker on tenor saxophone.

In the fall of 1994, the Brecker Brothers released the double-Grammy winning Out of the Loop, with tours that followed into 1995 throughout the U.S. and Europe. A tour highlight, they were the first international contemporary jazz group to perform in the People's Republic of China, playing to sell-out crowds in Beijing and Shanghai. Branching out again in 1995, Randy toured Japan as a special guest with Stanley Turrentine and was one of the first western jazz artists to tour in Poland.

Most significantly, he began recording his first solo album in six years with a band of musicians assembled from different parts of the globe, including long-time friend and musical cohort David Sanborn. guitarist Adam Rogers from Lost Tribe, Brazilian vocalist Maucha Adnet (singer with the late Jobim's band), and bassist Bakithi Kumalo of Graceland fame, among others.
Completed in 1996, drawn to and inspired by the music of Brazil since his first visit there in 1979, Randy offered up his impression of Brazilian music mixed with pinches of Latin, World Music, Funk and Jazz on Into the Sun. Released first in Japan on Pony Canyon, it became available on Concord Records throughout the rest of the world, and won Randy his first Grammy as a soloist in 1998 for "Best Contemporary Jazz Performance."

A live concert of the music from the album was filmed by Japanese television station NHK and broadcast in 1997. The summer of that year, Randy toured Europe with Joe Henderson, and closed the year on tour with the Mingus Big Band across the U.S. and South America, and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band in Europe.

The year of 1998 began with Randy's appearance on tour as a special guest with Billy Cobham in the U.K. In fact, it was while on stage at Ronnie Scott's in London, that Randy first heard the news of his Grammy win. Summer appearances included several reunion concerts with Larry Coryell and the 11th House, as well as a special guest appearance with the Vanguard Orchestra in a Tribute to Thad Jones In Marciac, France. Later that year he began appearing with the Art of Blakey Band featuring Benny Golson and Curtis Fuller in addition to performing in Israel twice as a guest soloist.

He has been a part of the touring Concord/Fujitsu Jazz Festival in Japan three times in recent years... with Art of Blakey Band and as Special Guest with the Ray Brown Trio and the Micheal Brecker Quartet. In addition he has been a frequent guest in Russia touring with the Igor Butman Quartet.

His most recent CD for ESC, 34th N Lex released in April of 2003 to great reviews ("RandyBrecker clearly outdoes himself on this one"-Paula Edelstein AMG Review)) features 11 new Randy Brecker compositions and arrangements and the 'dream horn section' of David Sanborn, Micheal Brecker, Fred Wesley and, Ronnie Cuber, along with Randy's regular working band and his wife, the Italian tenor saxophonist Ada Rovatti. In May of 2003 he toured Europe with his Quintet in support of the CD, and in the summer went back to Europe yet again with the Randy Brecker/ Bill Evans Soulbop Band.

The summer of 2003 culminated in the special headline appearance in Japan at the Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival of the reunited Brecker Brothers.

Randy Brecker continues to influence and inspire young musicians, and thoughout the years, has been in constant demand as a Yamaha Clinician, performing at Colleges and Universities the world over.
Randy plays "Blue Moon"

Reference - Allmusic

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