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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was chatting with my sax teacher, and we got onto some of Brecker's early studio jobs, where he just kinda played in studios and sometimes wasn't even credited. I found a few of these lesser known tracks that he plays on and they are killeeerrrr. One of them is Dire Strait's "Your Latest Trick". Another is his Hal Galper one, although that might be more well known. His 80/81 stuff with Pat Metheny is also awesome and I just happened to stumble upon it and realized it was Brecker nailing the solo! Any good recordings of him that are lesser known?

Josh
 

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This subject has become kind of an obsession of mine. MB unfortunately did not leave us as many recordings under his own name as we wish he could have, so if you're addict like me, you find yourself digging through the discography and trying to find those "hidden" gems where Brecker is appearing as a sideman.

I am most interested in his more straight ahead jazz, so the ones that strike me as indispensable are things like Chick Corea's "Three Quartets" album, the "Twin Tenors" record he did with Bob Mintzer, and the records he made with Hal Galper (Reach Out, Speak with a Single Voice, Redux 78, Children of the Night), but those are pretty well known. A couple somewhat lesser known classics would be Dave Grolnick's "London Concert" and "Mel Lewis and Friends." Horace Silver's "In Search of the 27th Man" and John Pattitucci's debut record on Concord are really good records that feature MB burning it down on a couple of cuts. A lot of people really love Claus Ogerman's "Cityscape"and the "American Dreams" record he did with Charlie Hayden, which are a bit more, how shall I say, atmospheric, but still contain lots of great MB. And it goes without saying you want to check out all the Steps Ahead and Brecker Bros stuff.
 

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I wish there were more of his clinics released. Louis has an INSANE collection of material, but it hasn't been released. There's a bunch of material at the Brecker archive at [I forget the university], which many of us will never be able to visit.
 

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I wish there were more of his clinics released. Louis has an INSANE collection of material, but it hasn't been released. There's a bunch of material at the Brecker archive at [I forget the university], which many of us will never be able to visit.
I keep hoping that somebody will make some of the material from that archive available commercially: maybe a few live concerts, maybe reissue some of the albums with alternate takes. Seems like there would be a decent-sized market (by jazz standards, anyway). I'll make a point of visiting William Paterson University, but it might be a while before that happens … Meanwhile, Louis posts a lot of stuff to YouTube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This subject has become kind of an obsession of mine. MB unfortunately did not leave us as many recordings under his own name as we wish he could have, so if you're addict like me, you find yourself digging through the discography and trying to find those "hidden" gems where Brecker is appearing as a sideman.

I am most interested in his more straight ahead jazz, so the ones that strike me as indispensable are things like Chick Corea's "Three Quartets" album, the "Twin Tenors" record he did with Bob Mintzer, and the records he made with Hal Galper (Reach Out, Speak with a Single Voice, Redux 78, Children of the Night), but those are pretty well known. A couple somewhat lesser known classics would be Dave Grolnick's "London Concert" and "Mel Lewis and Friends." Horace Silver's "In Search of the 27th Man" and John Pattitucci's debut record on Concord are really good records that feature MB burning it down on a couple of cuts. A lot of people really love Claus Ogerman's "Cityscape"and the "American Dreams" record he did with Charlie Hayden, which are a bit more, how shall I say, atmospheric, but still contain lots of great MB. And it goes without saying you want to check out all the Steps Ahead and Brecker Bros stuff.
I LOVE his Cityscape album!! It's probably (imo) one of his most virtuosic pieces of music ever done. I don't think many others could play that album (specifically ths song In the Presence and Absence of Each Other), and I think only Brecker could make it sound the way it did. I've seen some of his Hal Galper stuff and it was good, although I must admit I like his "atmospheric" stuff and his funk a bit more. Apparently Wikipedia says he played with Bruce Springsteen on a few songs, any chance you know them?

And agreed, his Steps Ahead stuff is killer. My favorite concert of all time is his Steps Ahead Live in Japan. Perfect album and his ideas blow my mind.

I wish there were more of his clinics released. Louis has an INSANE collection of material, but it hasn't been released. There's a bunch of material at the Brecker archive at [I forget the university], which many of us will never be able to visit.
I wish I could see more clinics too! Preferably before the 80's if he ever did any. It may just be me, but I feel like his sound and his style changed somewhere after his Three Quartets album. Idk how or why, but listen to it, listen to stuff before, then after and you'll hear a difference. Would like to see what happened, did he just hit the shed for like a whole year straight or something? idk...

Josh
 

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I’ve got a bootleg of him with Hal Galpers quintet during the time he played Links. Incredible sound and ideas.
 

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I LOVE his Cityscape album!! It's probably (imo) one of his most virtuosic pieces of music ever done. I don't think many others could play that album (specifically ths song In the Presence and Absence of Each Other), and I think only Brecker could make it sound the way it did. I've seen some of his Hal Galper stuff and it was good, although I must admit I like his "atmospheric" stuff and his funk a bit more. Apparently Wikipedia says he played with Bruce Springsteen on a few songs, any chance you know them?
I've always heard that he played on the "Born to Run" album, he didn't take any of the solos, which are clearly Clarence Clemons. My guess is that he and Randy are probably the horn section on "Tenth Avenue Freezeout," but that's a guess.

I like Cityscape, too! Didn't mean to sound like I was knocking it, even if my own tastes run more toward small group jazz. Speaking of which, I realized that when I did my post above, I forgot one of the very best: Kenny Wheeler's Double Double You is a great lp, with lots of great MB! Probably I'll remember another one as soon as I post this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've always heard that he played on the "Born to Run" album, he didn't take any of the solos, which are clearly Clarence Clemons. My guess is that he and Randy are probably the horn section on "Tenth Avenue Freezeout," but that's a guess.

I like Cityscape, too! Didn't mean to sound like I was knocking it, even if my own tastes run more toward small group jazz. Speaking of which, I realized that when I did my post above, I forgot one of the very best: Kenny Wheeler's Double Double You is a great lp, with lots of great MB! Probably I'll remember another one as soon as I post this.
Oh no worries, I didn't think you were knocking it at all, I just reeeeally like his stuff on that album that's all :)

I assume then you've heard his Impressions with McCoy Tyner? He kills that solo! Not to mention so does Tyner... If you get any other songs or albums coming to you that aren't well known do share!! I'll check out his Double Double You. I feel like I've heard that title before, I probably chuckled at how clever it was. Now I need to listen to it! Brecker also did some big band stuff very early on right? I even remember seeing him with a rubber Otto Link I think?

Josh
 

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I haven’t seen “White Elephant” mentioned yet. That was among my favs for many years - last century.
 

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Oh no worries, I didn't think you were knocking it at all, I just reeeeally like his stuff on that album that's all :)

I assume then you've heard his Impressions with McCoy Tyner? He kills that solo! Not to mention so does Tyner... If you get any other songs or albums coming to you that aren't well known do share!! I'll check out his Double Double You. I feel like I've heard that title before, I probably chuckled at how clever it was. Now I need to listen to it! Brecker also did some big band stuff very early on right? I even remember seeing him with a rubber Otto Link I think?

Josh
Good god, that's another great one I forgot: "Infinity" (not Impressions, although they play "Impressions" on the CD) with McCoy!

MB did do a number of sessions early on with Bob Mintzer's big band, which I haven't heard. That band recorded a lot, and I'm not sure with records have Brecker or how much he plays (ie, whether he's playing in the sections or if he just popped in for a solo). He also guested on one of the Big Phat Band records, can't remember how many tracks he's on. Also there's a fairly recent live CD with the UMO Jazz Orchestra that came out where he's the featured soloist on every track: you've probably already got it, but if not you really want to hear that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good god, that's another great one I forgot: "Infinity" (not Impressions, although they play "Impressions" on the CD) with McCoy!

MB did do a number of sessions early on with Bob Mintzer's big band, which I haven't heard. That band recorded a lot, and I'm not sure with records have Brecker or how much he plays (ie, whether he's playing in the sections or if he just popped in for a solo). He also guested on one of the Big Phat Band records, can't remember how many tracks he's on. Also there's a fairly recent live CD with the UMO Jazz Orchestra that came out where he's the featured soloist on every track: you've probably already got it, but if not you really want to hear that one.
Nope! Haven't heard of that UMO Jazz one! Gotta check that out... I can't believe I've never heard Brecker's feature on the Big Phat Band! I loooove Eric Marienthal (their lead alto) and listen to that band all the time! I'll have to look around for that. By chance did Brecker ever do anything with Bob Berg? Both great legends that left way too early...

Also, I'm not sure if people know about this concert or not, but Brecker's group at Juan Les Pins (I think that's right?) is killer stuff.

Josh
 

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Nope! Haven't heard of that UMO Jazz one! Gotta check that out... I can't believe I've never heard Brecker's feature on the Big Phat Band! I loooove Eric Marienthal (their lead alto) and listen to that band all the time! I'll have to look around for that. By chance did Brecker ever do anything with Bob Berg? Both great legends that left way too early...

Also, I'm not sure if people know about this concert or not, but Brecker's group at Juan Les Pins (I think that's right?) is killer stuff.

Josh
Here's the Phat Band track with MB:

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here's the Phat Band track with MB:

Turns out I HAVE seen that! I happened to find it as a transcription video rather than the whole song. I thought it sounded so much like Chris Potter does today (or perhaps Chris sounds a lot like Brecker here...) especially in Lingus with Snarky Puppy.

Josh
 

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I've always heard that he played on the "Born to Run" album, he didn't take any of the solos, which are clearly Clarence Clemons. My guess is that he and Randy are probably the horn section on "Tenth Avenue Freezeout," but that's a guess.

I like Cityscape, too! Didn't mean to sound like I was knocking it, even if my own tastes run more toward small group jazz. Speaking of which, I realized that when I did my post above, I forgot one of the very best: Kenny Wheeler's Double Double You is a great lp, with lots of great MB! Probably I'll remember another one as soon as I post this.
Horn section on 10th Avenue Freezeout is Mike Brecker, Randy Brecker, Wayne Andre on trombone and Dave Sanborn on the big Eb horn a.k.a. baritone, checkout Mike playing on Michael Franks' The Art of Tea and Sleepy Gypsy albums and this track from UK band Anything But The Girl ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-mSQuuDjXk

Greg S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Horn section on 10th Avenue Freezeout is Mike Brecker, Randy Brecker, Wayne Andre on trombone and Dave Sanborn on the big Eb horn a.k.a. baritone, checkout Mike playing on Michael Franks' The Art of Tea and Sleepy Gypsy albums and this track from UK band Anything But The Girl ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-mSQuuDjXk

Greg S.
Is MB on all of that Everything But The Girl album (the language of life in case anyone else was wondering)? Or is he just on that one track?


EDIT: forgot to express my surprise at putting Sanborn on bari! Didn't even know he had a bari, and it feels like a waste of talent if you ask me... Any other guy could do the bari parts, or get Mulligan to really rip it up!

Josh
 
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