Friday, March 29, 2019

The Joy of Sax: Michael Brecker 70

We'll start to wind down March with yet another milestone birthday for another departed, beloved player.
While he was alive, he played on over 700 (!!) records, and provided saxophone solos for some of the biggest hits of all time.
Often found in the company of his equally-as-talented and in-demand brother, the band they co-led was one of the more celebrated of those funky 1970s.
He was even the sax player in the Saturday Night Live band for a time in the early 1980s.
Beginning with the concert we're sharing today, he also led his own groups in the more straight-ahead, post-bop style.
Ah, this concert though. I know I tend to hyperbolize, but this one sounds a billion times better than 100 official live records I could name off the top of my head. 
In all honesty, this here is what what we do here is all about: an historical document, in official-release quality, of a seminal, beloved player's maiden voyage stepping out in front of people without his brother and a backbeat, and not saxophonizing as a sideguy or hit soloist in someone else's group either. 
I can find no reference to a session or live date with Michael Brecker as a bandleader before this, and Mike didn't make his first platter as a leader until fully nine years after this show, so this fascinating 80 minutes serves to fill a vital gap in the discography of a sorely missed musician who happens to be (woulda been) 70 years old today.
Michael Brecker Quartet+1
Berliner Jazztage
Philharmonie
Berlin, Germany
11.1.1978

01 Speak with a Single Voice
02 Michael Brecker announcement
03 Triple Play
04 Michael Brecker announcement
05 i'll Never Stop Loving You
06 Michael Brecker announcement
07 Hot-Diggi-Di-Dam (Ambrosetti)
08 Uptown End
09 Michael Brecker announcement
10 Eight Bar Song

Total time: 1:19:13

Michael Brecker - tenor saxophone
Hal Galper - piano
Chip Jackson - bass
Joe LaBarbera - drums
Franco Ambrosetti - trumpet

HQ 320/48 digital webstream capture from Kulturradio, made into 16/44 FLACs
spectral goes strong all the way to 20 kHz, so very nearly pre-FM quality
507 MB FLAC here
I may stroll back on Sunday with one last blast for the month, but I'm not sure yet.
Regardless of all that, we're here to commemorate the life of Mike Brecker, and fill in some history whilst we're tributing this mighty player, born this day in 1949 and still with a larger, deeper discography than most living musicians.--J.
3.29.1949 - 1.13.2007