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I apologize if this was already posted. I had to share this with those who haven't yet had the opportunity to see and hear. INCREDIBLE.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNPrO9N2UeY

He seemed NOT HUMAN on the saxophone. But as we witnessed he was indeed mortal. One of the greatest masters of the saxophone ever.
 

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If you want to know, you might want to ask Louis Gerrits at www.michaelbreckerliverecordings.com

He posted that video (and made the graphics) right after Michael passed.

But I'm pretty sure it was much earlier. Before he fell ill, he was on tour with Herbie Hancock and Roy Hargrove. I was at the last two concerts of that tour. They weren't doing that kind of music. Then he did a week at Birdland with Lovano and Liebman before being hospitalized and canceling all future dates. That was March 2005. I believe he really didn't perform after that except for maybe a couple of cameos like the one he did with Herbie at Carnegie Hall.
 

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Incredible (from a sax player's point of view - I mean, it's hard to believe how totally in command of the expressive potential of the instrument he is, it seems almost impossible). But, more importantly, musically, just WOW! Thank you.
 

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That is amazing.

Does anyone else think that church acoustics just aren't suited to jazz?
 

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A.Smith said:
You can get a transcription of this exact solo at Louis website.
Well, I guess that settles it.

The video was taken November 7, 2001 in Basel, Switzerland.
 

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RootyTootoot said:
Incredible (from a sax player's point of view - I mean, it's hard to believe how totally in command of the expressive potential of the instrument he is, it seems almost impossible). But, more importantly, musically, just WOW! Thank you.
When, as a modest saxophonist, I can't be anything but very very impressed by how he masters his horn, I'm not very interested musically... There are many ideas, but for me it's too much, kind of demonstrativ trip, but I know, concerning music I'm getting too serious, mainly on the spiritual side ...

If Coltrane is the JS Bach of jazz, Brecker is the Paganini.
I have all Bach on records, and none Paganini's ...
 

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silvin said:
...
If Coltrane is the JS Bach of jazz, Brecker is the Paganini.
I have all Bach on records, and none Paganini's ...
We'll have to agree to disagree on this one, silv. I've only really started to get much into Brecker recently (maybe because i half believed a few of the critics who take a similar view to you) but, IMHO, the Bach/Paganini for Coltrane/Brecker idea is way off.
 

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Because to say Brecker is to Coltrane as Paganini is to Bach is a grave underestimation of Brecker's playing, in my opinion. I find a lot more than sheer virtuosity in his stuff. I'm certainly no kind of expert at all on Michael Brecker (and therefore kind of hoping someone who is will come to my aid here!) but I think even in this youtube clip there's enough for me to feel moved as well as impressed. One fairly crass example: I absolutely love the way he's not afraid to repeat the low riff over and over. It's like what Sonny does with pedal points but it feels like it's Brecker's own thing rather than some kind of trick. I mean it feels like a natural development of the solo when he hits the runs (in contrast) and it absolutely knocks you out. The whole thing is kind of playful and funny. I respond to that..
 

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I don't find comparring Coltrane to Bach an accurate comparrison in the first place. Coltrane's (trying very hard to be objective while not taking anything away from him) body of work doesn't represent the same contribution as Bach's. As far as organizing ideas and laying the groundwork for what was to come, I would say Duke Ellington was more of Bach's equal in the jazz idiom.

IMHO, the more accurate representation would be between Paganini and Liszt. Liszt heard Paganini play and was immediately inspired to have the techical mastery that Paganini had. Liszt shedded for the next couple of years and became the best at what he did, all the while incorporating Paganini's melodies and even arranging Paganini's pieces with much more room for flourishes of technique (sounds like Michael Brecker's Naima to me).
 

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Thanks for this link SaxyAcoustician. Sometimes when someone is improvising like this, even if it is not completely improvised, not everything works perfect. For the person who said it wasn't musical, maybe some phrases (a few of the faster ones) weren't the most in context and just borrowed from different music he also plays, but in general I think it was very musical and not even too long. I play mostly free jazz and improvised music (maybe avantgarde) but a musician needs to forget the style and understand in the context of the specific music and in that way I think this solo of Michael Brecker was great!

And about the church acoustics I think sometimes it doesn't work good but in this case I think it worked very good for this solo. Some woodwinds sound especially good in church sometimes, for example Evan Parker or John Butcher solos sound better in church.
 

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This song of brecker's shows off all his talents, and so do some of the other videos on youtube, and by show-off, i mean show-off!. For someone who does not like him, listen to his recordings where he sticks to a less crazy approach to musicality while still using harmonics/overtones and altissimo to create great music. The videos on youtube mostly show off how crazy of a player he is, but the recorded tracks give proof to any doubter that might say he does not make everything musical by showing a more conservative, yet still equally impressive brecker. Go to this link to with the arista all stars with brecker and you will see his skills without being so crazy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9bbFw_aoGU
 

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You think he was "showing off" for YouTube? How absurd. YouTube wasn't even around when the video was shot.

As to "crazy" - it's all in the ears of the beholder. Maybe you just don't understand what you are hearing... Your comments seem to question whether he was playing sincerely.
 

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Is any fool going to quip "Hey, it'd be better if he were standing up"? :twisted:
 

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RootyTootoot said:
Because to say Brecker is to Coltrane as Paganini is to Bach is a grave underestimation of Brecker's playing, in my opinion. I find a lot more than sheer virtuosity in his stuff.
But there is creativity in Paganini's music as well, but, to my opinion, (oh it's difficult for me to express this in english), we are no more (with Paganini and Brecker) in the grace, something is lost or hidden by the virtuosity, the effect, and it's almost getting kitsch (does this word exist in english?): it's a kind of lost heaven (paradis perdu).
That's why I compared Bach (the quintessence of tonal music) and Coltrane (the quintessence of expressiv jazz): a kind of purity in both case that I don't find in Brecker's music ...
 
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