Sunday, January 14, 2007

What Michael Brecker's Death Means to Me...

It seems like eons ago that I was marveling at Michael Brecker's solo playing Two Blocks From the Edge, Don't Try This At Home, his killing 1980 collaboration with Chick Corea, Three Quartets, and finally his 2004 large-ensemble masterpiece Wide Angles, which I think represented a shift in where he was headed musically - since his previous 10 albums had been small-group focused.

So many players I love today, I discovered through Michael Brecker recordings - the late Don Alias, Jeff 'Tain' Watts, Joey Calderazzo, James Genus and John Patitucci among others.

I guess I just want to say that Michael had a huge influence on me. He made me want to keep playing saxophone when practicing just seemed too hard or futile. Hearing Brecker's flawless technical mastery, angular yet hard-swinging lines, and soulful interpretation of standards inspired more than two generations of saxophone players and hopefully his recorded legacy will continue to inspire musicians to reach new heights through both thorough mastery of their instruments and devotion to masters who came before us all.

I don't know what else to say? Thank you Michael for your music and your spirit.

Michael Brecker Lives!

1 comment:

Darren Kramer said...

Michael Brecker was not only the most influential saxophonist since John Coltrane, he was a major musical force for the last 35 yrs in the many diverse styles of Jazz, Fusion, Pop, Rock, R&B, Soul and World music. He will always be one of my all-time favorite musicians for what he accomplished as an innovator and for the kind, generous person he was. I will deeply miss him as he has had a profound impact on my life and he encompassed everything I aspire to be. I am most fortunate that Michael became a colleague and friend in recent years when he so graciously helped jumpstart my career by writing a testimonial for my debut CD release "DKO" and then recording the title track for my 3rd DKO CD "In The Now".

With sincere gratitude and respect, I thank you Michael.
The world is a much better place because you were here.