Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
Joined
·
6,260 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Michael Brecker...you touched this music, life and all of us deeply. You are truly missed.

This picture is from one of the most inspiring times in my life. This was a Sam Ash clinic for a mouthpiece manufacturer - over 28 years ago, that we all played at. I'm standing to left, in the back room is Michael Brecker & Big Nick Nicholas.

Big Nick is telling Michael a story I heard many times from Big Nick about John Coltrane and Big Nick practicing out of violin books on breaks in the old Alvin Hotel basement. " Big Nick". . that guy who Coltrane wrote the song "Big Nick" for. These two guys had saxophone sounds that were so unique- and huge.
The first time I heard Michael live with Horace Silver, you could feel that sound in your soul. It was that vibe! I feel Michael heard things in such a profound way, also had that gear that went past anything. I feel beyond blessed that I was involved in the development of a reed that bared his name. And to be around him testing reeds on a weekly basis at the Macafferi plant deep in the Bronx. There was one Sunday, I had my Selmer SBA alto with me. Michael asked to try it- so he tries it with the DG metal piece I was using- it was like the Earth stopped. Imagine the sound if you will. . .beyond anything. In telling John Stubblefield about it, John remarked about Philly sax players who played tenor in the highest level but also when they played alto saxophone that energy was there as well. He cited of course Trane on alto as well as Jimmy Heath. For sure.
Michael had a great sense of humor too....he could laugh. One morning Macafferi was sitting at the table with us...he had just made Medaglia D'Oro Italian Roast Espresso. He saw Michael on SNL with Paul Simon and was asking him about the performance. Mario as some might know made guitars as well as reeds, and made a Andres Segovia guitar. He was being funny about the guitar and had all of us hysterical. Mario was only 93 at that time. So on the way back to the bus station, Mike and I were imitating Macafferi for each other. It got so hysterical he had to stop the car. Another time there was a reed that came off the machine and was a different cane- I adjusted it with a knife. Gave it to Michael and he said " this reminds me of a Sal vibe"...meaning Sal Nistico. He started to play and was less than a foot from me and Guardala. BURNING! For over 5 minutes. The guy was from another place- I never heard anything like him EVER. His sound had so much_core_ and definition.I could go on.......

Michael Brecker you are truly missed. Bless you for all you gave us.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Alto: 1975 Mark VII, 1950 SBA. Tenor: 1960 Mark VI
Joined
·
18 Posts
I saw Michael Brecker live only once, playing with Steps Ahead at Blues Alley in DC in 1983 (I think). I missed the chance to meet him and talk to him, and I'll forever regret it. I was there with my college saxophone professor and a couple of other students. I was foolish enough to leave after the first set. My teacher stayed the whole night, and ended up giving Mr. Brecker a ride to his hotel. We were in awe of him, but I don't think any of us realized at the time what a giant he would become.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,321 Posts
Such a great story to read. I saw him with the Brecker Brothers in NY at the Blue Note in the mid nineties and he blew my mind!! My brother and I waited outside the band's greenroom for hours before the set. He finally came out and spoke to us. He was so down to earth and friendly. Hearing his sound from a front table feet away from him is a blessing I will always remember.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top