15 January 2007

Michael Brecker 1949-2007

Saxophonist Michael Brecker died Saturday after a long battle with MDS a rare blood disease, followed more recently by a bout with lukemia. He was 57.

Brecker defined the sax sound of 70s popular music. Consider just two iconic solos: James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" and Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years."

But Brecker was primarily a jazz artist who seemed to be able to work profitably with anybody, whether it was the fusion funk of Jaco Pastorius or Coltrane legacy work with McCoy Tyner.

Rather than me going on about his significance, here are a couple more performances to check out:

Straphangin' - The Brecker Brothers Band (with Randy Brecker on trumpet and George Duke on keyboards) from somewhere in the early 80s.

James with the Pat Metheny (guitar), Christian McBride (bass) and Antonio Sanchez (drums) from 2003.

Brecker's family is asking for donations to The Marrow Foundation.

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