Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Tribute to Michael Brecker 7 - featuring the music of Don Grolnick


DJ Bill McCann was once again gracious enough to invite me on to his Saturday Morning Edition of Jazz radio program on WCDB 90.9 FM to pay tribute to the late Michael Brecker. This year we extended the tribute to include pianist/composer/producer Don Grolnick and were joined by his widow, vocalist Jeanne O'Connor. As an added bonus, Jeanne arranged for Susan Brecker to call in and share some memories of her late husband.

Over the course of four hours we played music by Steps, the Brecker Brothers, James Taylor and of course Michael Brecker & Don Grolnick.  Here's the playlist:

Six Persimmons” (6:10)
Steps – Step By Step (1980)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Michel Brecker (tenor sax), Mike Mainieri (vibes), Don Grolnick (piano), Eddie Gomez (bass), Steve Gadd (drums)

The Cost of Living”  (7:49)
Michael Brecker – Michael Brecker (1987)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Pat Metheny (guitar), Kenny Kirkland (piano), Charlie Haden (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums), Don Grolnick (producer)

Rainsville” (5:29)
Don Grolnick – Medianoche (1995)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Don Grolnick (piano), Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Dave Valentin (flute), Mike Mainieri (vibes), Andy Gonzales (bass), Don Alias (timbales & percussion), Steve Berrios (bongos, drums & percussion), Milton Cardona (congas & percussion)

"Baby Boom Baby" (5:00)
James Taylor – Never Die Young (1988)
Composed by James Taylor
James Taylor (vocal, guitar), Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Don Grolnick (keyboards, producer), Leland Sklar (bass), Carlos Vega (drums, percussion), Bob Mann (guitar), Arnold McCuller, Rosemary Butler (vocals)

Five Bars”  (7:20)
Don Grolnick – The Complete Blue Note Recordings (1997)
Originally released on Weaver of Dreams (1989)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Barry Rogers (trombone), Bob Mintzer (bass clarinet), Don Grolnick (piano), Dave Holland (bass), Peter Erskine (drums)

Chime This” (7:50)
Michael Brecker – Don’t Try this At Home (1988)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Mike Stern (guitar), Don Grolnick (piano, producer), Charlie Haden (bass), Adam Nussbaum (drums)

Pointing at the Moon” (6:13)
Don Grolnick – Hearts & Numbers (1985)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Don Grolnick (piano, synthesizers), Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Jeff Mironov (guitar), Will Lee (bass), Steve Jordan (cymbals), Clifford Carter (synthesizer programming)

Minsk” (9:07)
Michael Brecker – Now You See It … (Now You Don’t) (1990)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Michael Brecker (tenor sax, EWI), Jon Herrington (guitar), Joey Calderazzo (piano), Jim Beard (synthesizers), Victor Bailey (bass), Adam Nussbaum (drums), Judd Miller (EWI programming)

Regrets” (5:13)
Don Grolnick – Hearts & Numbers (1985)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Don Grolnick (piano & synthesizer), Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Bob Mann (guitar), Tom Kennedy (bass), Peter Erskine (drums), Clifford Carter (synthesizer programming)

Nothing Personal”  (5:29)
Michael Brecker – Michael Brecker (1987)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Pat Metheny (guitar), Kenny Kirkland (piano), Charlie Haden (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums), Don Grolnick (producer)

Dogs in the Wine Shop” (6:33)
Michael Brecker – Now You See It … (Now You Don’t) (1990)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Michael Brecker (tenor sax, EWI), Joey Calderazzo (piano), Jim Beard (synthesizers), Victor Bailey (bass), Don Alias (percussion), Steve Berios (percussion), Milton Cardona (percussion), Judd Miller (EWI programming)

Uncle Bob” (11:00)
Steps – Step By Step (1980)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Mike Mainieri (vibes), Don Grolnick (piano), Eddie Gomez (bass), Steve Gadd (drums)

Itsbynne Reel” (7:41)
Michael Brecker – Don’t Try This At Home (1988)
Composed by Michael Brecker & Don Grolnick
Michael Brecker (tenor sax, EWI), Mark O’Connor (violin), Mike Stern (guitar), Don Grolnick (piano, producer), Charlie Haden (acoustic bass), Jeff Andrews (electric bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)

Cape Verdean Blues” (4:54)
Don Grolnick – Medianoche (1995)
Composed by Horace Silver
Don Grolnick (piano), Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Dave Valentin (flute), Mike Mainieri (vibes), Andy Gonzales (bass), Don Alias (timbales & percussion), Steve Berrios (bongos, drums & percussion), Milton Cardona (congas & percussion)

Or Come Fog” (5:23)
Don Grolnick – The Complete Blue Note Recordings (1997)
Originally released on Weaver of Dreams (1989)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Barry Rogers (trombone), Bob Mintzer (bass clarinet), Don Grolnick (piano), Dave Holland (bass), Peter Erskine (drums)

Talking to Myself” (5:10)
Michael Brecker – Don’t Try This At Home (1988)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Mike Stern (guitar), Don Grolnick (piano, producer), Jeff Andrews (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)

Cape Verdean Blues” (4:54)
Don Grolnick – Medianoche (1995)
Composed by Horace Silver
Don Grolnick (piano), Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Dave Valentin (flute), Mike Mainieri (vibes), Andy Gonzales (bass), Don Alias (timbales & percussion), Steve Berrios (bongos, drums & percussion), Milton Cardona (congas & percussion)

Sneakin’ Up Behind You” (4:50)
Brecker Brothers – The Brecker Brothers (1975)
Composed by Don Grolnick, Michael Brecker, David Sanborn & Will Lee
Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Randy Brecker (trumpet), David Sanborn (alto sax), Bob Mann (guitar), Don Grolnick (keyboards), Will Lee (bass, vocals), Harvey Mason (drums), Ralph MacDonald (percussion), Christopher Parker (additional drums)

Four Chords” (10:52)
Steps – Paradox (1981)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Mike Mainieri (vibes), Don Grolnick (piano), Eddie Gomez (bass), Steve Gadd (drums)

Pools” (5:15)
Don Grolnick – Hearts & Numbers (1985)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Don Grolnick (piano & Fender Rhodes), Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Jeff Mironov (guitar), Tom Kennedy (bass), Peter Erskine (drums)

If Ever I Should Leave You” (7:22)
Don Grolnick – Medianoche (1995)
Composed by Fredrick Loewe & Alan J. Lerner)
Don Grolnick (piano), Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Dave Valentin (flute), Mike Mainieri (vibes), Andy Gonzales (bass), Don Alias (timbales & percussion), Steve Berrios (bongos, drums & percussion), Milton Cardona (congas & percussion)

I Want To Be Happy"  (5:06)
Don Grolnick – The Complete Blue Note Recordings (1997)
Originally released on Weaver of Dreams (1989)
Composed by Irving Caesar & Vincent Youmans
Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Barry Rogers (trombone), Bob Mintzer (bass clarinet), Don Grolnick (piano), Dave Holland (bass), Peter Erskine (drums)

For more information on these amazing artists visit:
www.dongrolnick.com

For more information on the documentary "More to Live For" visit:
www.moretoliveforfilm.com

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Top 10 of 2013

Here are 10 albums I enjoyed in 2013:

1. Chris Potter - The Sirens (ECM)
One of my favorite living saxophonists assembled a new quintet to interpret an album's worth of original compositions inspired by Homer's ancient Greek poem "The Odyssey." The group - featuring Craig Taborn on piano, David Virelles on prepared piano, celeste, & harmonium, Larry Grenadier on bass, Eric Harland on drums and Potter on tenor & soprano saxophones and bass clarinet - marks a return to an acoustic sound after several recordings by his electric group, Underground.

2. Bob Reynolds - Somewhere in Between
Heartfelt original compositions plus arrangements of songs by Radiohead, Foo Fighters and Bon Iver perormed by an top-notch ensemble that includes pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Janek Gwizdala, drummer Eric Harland and Reynold's occasional employer - pop superstar/guitarist John Mayer.

3. Kendrick Scott Oracle - Conviction (Concord)
I had the pleasure of hearing much of this music live on two occassions. Once, several years ago, at the Jazz Standard in New York City and more recently, at the SFJazz Center in San Francisco. On both occassions, and on the record, Scott and his band - John Ellis (reeds), Mike Moreno (guitar), Taylor Eigsti (piano), Joe Sanders (bass) - create an intangilble vibe that translates into some of the most memorable music I've heard in recent years.

4. Terence Blanchard - Magnetic (Blue Note)
Another album of music that I enjoyed initially - and even more so after hearing it performed live. Blanchard continues to produce captivating modern jazz with a group made up of musicians of a younger generation.

5. Matt Ullery's Loom - Wake An Echo (Greenleaf)
Thanks to Dave Douglas and his Greenleaf record label, this Chicago-based bassist/composer's music has found its way to audiences outside of the windy city. The quintet performs inspiring, cinematic soundscapes with a unique front line featuring trumpet and - bass clarinet!

 6. Jon Cowherd - Mercy (Artistshare)
 7. Ben Allison - The Stars Look Very Different Today (Sonic Camera)
 8. Gary Burton New Quartet - Guided Tour (Concord)
 9. Chick Corea - The Vigil (Concord)
10. Bob James & David Sanborn - Quartette Humaine (Okeh)

What music did you enjoy in 2013?

Monday, April 01, 2013

A Tribute to Michael Brecker 6



This past Saturday I went on Bill McCann's "Saturday Morning Edition of Jazz" on WCDB 90.9 FM to once again pay tribute to Michael Brecker. The four hour program marked the sixth year of annual tributes to the late saxophonist.

This year's program featured music from Brecker's nine recordings as a leader as well as his work with the Brecker Brothers, Steps Ahead, Horace Silver, Chick Corea, and Mike Mainieri.

Here's what we played:

Midnight Mood” (6:22)
Michael Brecker – Nearness of You – The Ballad Book (2001)
Track #4
Composed by Joe Zawinul
Pat Metheny (guitar), Herbie Hancock (piano), Chalie Haden (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)

Six Persimmons” (6:10)
Steps – Step By Step (1980)
Track #5
Composed by Don Grolnick
Mike Mainieri (vibes), Don Grolnick (piano), Eddie Gomez (bass), Steve Gadd (drums)

Naked Soul” (8:43)
Michael Brecker – Tales From The Hudson (1996)
Track #7
Composed by Michael Brecker
Pat Metheny (guitar), Joey Calderazzo (piano), Dave Holland (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)

I’m Sorry” (8:38)
Blue Montreux – Blue Montreux (1979)
Track #3
Composed by Mike Mainieri
Mike Mainieri (vibes), Warren Bernhardt (keyboards), Steve Khan (guitar), Tony Levin (bass), Steve Jordan (drums)

Seven Days” (5:32)
Michael Brecker – Nearness of You – The Ballad Book (2001)
Track #10
Composed by Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny (guitar), Herbie Hancock (piano), Chalie Haden (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)

Sarah’s Touch” (7:31)
Mike Mainieri – Wanderlust (1981)
Track #7
Composed by Mike Mainieri
Mike Mainieri (vibes), Don Grolnick (keyboards), Steve Khan (guitar), Marcus Miller (bass), Peter Erskine (drums)

Evocations” (5:16)
Brecker Brothers – Out of the Loop (1994)
Track #2
Composed by Michael Brecker & Chris Botti
Randy Brecker (trumpet), George Whitty (piano), Dean Brown (guitar), Larry Saltzman (guitar), Shawn Pelton (drums), Steve Thornton (percussion), Chris Botti & Andy Snitzer (drum, bass & keyboard programming)

Self Portrait” (7:30)
Steps Ahead - Live In Tokyo 1986
Track #3
Compsed by Mike Mainieri
Mike Maineri (vibes), Mike Stern (guitar), Daryl Jones (bass), Steve Smith (drums)

Five Months from Midnight” (7:40)
Michael Brecker – Pilgrimage (2007)
Track #2
Composed by Michael Brecker
Pat Metheny (guitar), Brad Mehldau (piano), John Patitucci (bass), Jack DeJohnete (drums)

Sound Off” (6:05)
Michael Brecker – Time is of the Essence (1999)
Track #2
Composed by Larry Goldings
Pat Metheny (guitar), Larry Goldings (organ), Jeff “Tain” Watts (drums)

Hawkin’” (6:17)
Horace Silver – The Hardbop Grandpop (1996)
Track #4
Composed by Horace Silver
Claudio Roditi (trumpet), Steve Turre (trombone), Ronnie Cuber (bari sax), Horace Silver (piano), Ron Carter (bass), Lewis Nash (drums)

Modus Operandy” (5:27)
Michael Brecker Quindectet – Wide Angles (2003)
Track #9
Composed by Michael Brecker
Alex Sipiagin (trumpet), Robin Eubanks (trombone), Peter Gordon (french horn), Steve Wilson (flute), Iain Dixon (clarinet & bass clarinet), Charles Pillow (oboe & English horn), Mark Feldman (violin), Joyce Hammann  (violin), Lois Martin (viola), Erik Friedlander (cello), Adam Rogers (guitar),
John Patitucci (bass), Antonio Sanchez (drums), Daniel Sadownick (percussion)

Quartet No. 2 – Part 2 – Dedicated to John Coltrane” (11:48)
Chick Corea – Three Quartets (1981)
Track #4
Composed by Chick Corea
Chick Corea (piano), Eddie Gomez (bass), Steve Gadd (drums)

The Impaler” (7:13)
Michael Brecker – Two Blocks from the Edge (1998)
Track #6
Composed by Jeff “Tain” Watts
Joey Calerazzo (piano), James Genus (bass), Jeff “Tain” Watts (drums), Don Alias (percussion)

Bullet Train” (4:50)
Mike Mainieri – Wanderlust (1981)
Track #1
Composed by Mike Mainieri
Mike Mainieri (vibes), Don Grolnick (keyboards), Steve Khan (guitar), Marcus Miller (bass), Peter Erskine (drums), Manolo Badrena, Sammy Figueroa, Roger Squitero (percussion)

Liberated Brother” (5:20)
Horace Silver – In Pursuit of the 27th Man (1973)
Track #1
Composed by Weldon Irvine
Randy Brecker (trumpet), Horace Silver (piano), Bob Cranshaw (electric bass), Mickey Roker (drums)

Sea Glass” (5:49)
Michael Brecker – Michael Brecker (1987)
Track #1
Composed by Michael Brecker
Pat Metheny (guitar), Kenny Kirkland (piano), Charlie Haden (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)

The Mean Time” (6:57)
Michael Brecker – Pilgrimage (2007)
Track #1
Composed by Michael Brecker
Pat Metheny (guitar), Herbie Hancock (piano), John Patitucci (bass), Jack DeJohnete (drums)

I Got the Blues In Santa Cruz” (8:05)
Horace Silver – The Hardbop Grandpop (1996)
Track #5
Composed by Horace Silver
Claudio Roditi (trumpet), Steve Turre (trombone), Ronnie Cuber (bari sax), Horace Silver (piano), Ron Carter (bass), Lewis Nash (drums)

Funky Sea, Funky Dew” (6:13)
Brecker Brothers – Don’t Stop the Music (1977)
Track #2
Composed by Michael Brecker
Randy Brecker (trumpet), Steve Khan (guitar), Don Grolnick, Doug Riley (keys), Will Lee (bass), Lenny White (drums), Ralph McDonald, Sammy Figueroa (percussion)

Uptown Ed” (6:36)
Blue Montreux – Blue Montreux (1979)
Track #6
Composed by Michael Brecker
Mike Mainieri (vibes), Warren Bernhardt (keyboards), Eddie Gomez (bass), Steve Jordan (drums)

Threesome” (6:28)
Brecker Brothers - Straphangin’ (1981)
Track:  #2
Composer:  Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker (trumpet), Barry Finnerty (guitar), Mark Gray (keys), Marcus Miller (bass), Richie Morales (drums)

Cabin Fever” (6:59)
Michael Brecker – Tales From The Hudson (1996)
Track #9
Composed by Michael Brecker
Pat Metheny (guitar), Joey Calderazzo (piano), Dave Holland (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)

The Lady From Johannesburg” (6:05)
Horace Silver – The Hardbop Grandpop (1996)
Track #8
Composed by Horace Silver
Claudio Roditi (trumpet), Steve Turre (trombone), Ronnie Cuber (bari sax), Horace Silver (piano), Ron Carter (bass), Lewis Nash (drums)

Mr. JJ” (9:51)
Jeff “Tain” Watts – Bar Talk (2002)
Track #4
Composed by Jeff “Tain” Watts
Branford Marsalis (tenor sax), Joey Calderazzo (piano), Eric Revis (bass), Jeff “Tain” Watts (drums)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Top 10 of 2012

Here are ten albums I enjoyed this year:

1. Romain CollinThe Calling (Palmetto)
The French pianist blends the sounds of an acoustic piano trio with subtle electronic effects/samples on a set of original compositions and songs by Horace Silver and John Mayer.
www.romaincollin.com

2. Pat MethenyUnity Band (Nonsuch)
A collection of nine original songs by the celebrated guitarist in a quartet setting featuring saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Ben Williams and drummer Antonio Sanchez. This is the first time Metheny has released a recording featuring tenor saxophone since 1980's classic 80/81 which showcased the talents of the late Michael Brecker and Dewey Redman. Here's hoping he doesn't wait another thirty years to do it again.
www.patmetheny.com

3. Donny McCaslinCasting for Gravity (Greenleaf)
An incredible hybrid of jazz and contemporary electronic music, this album sounds like nothing I've heard before.
www.donnymccaslin.com

4. Kurt Rosenwinkel Star of Jupiter (Wommusic)
A double album of the guitarist's original material featuring a quartet comprised of pianist/keyboardist Aaron Parks, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Justin Faulkner. It's great to hear Revis and Faulkner, best known for their work in saxophonist Branford Marsalis' quartet, in a completely different context.
www.kurtrosenwinkel.com

5. & 6. Brad MehldauOde/Where Do You Start (Nonesuch)
This year the pianist and his long-standing trio released two albums culled from the same recording sessions. Ode is a collection of eleven Mehldau originals while Where Do You Start features jazz classics by Clifford Brown and Sonny Rollins interspersed with pop songs made famous by Jimi Hendrix, Soundgarden, Sufjan Stevens, Nick Drake and others.
www.bradmehldau.com

7. Dave Douglas Quintet - Be Still (Greenleaf)

A beautiful collection of hymns and folk songs with a personal connection to the trumpeter. Vocalist Aoife O’Donovan is featured on several tracks including the touching opener "Be Still My Soul."
www.davedouglas.com

8. Mike Moreno - Another Way (World Culture Music)
The guitarists second release of all original composition features pianist Aaron Parks, vibraphonists Warren Wolf & Chris Dingman, bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Ted Poor & Jochen Rueckert.
www.mikemoreno.com

9. Ben Wendel - Frame (Sunnyside)
Kneebody saxophonist's second release features nine original tunes - as well as a duo arrangement of "Con Alma" - performed by pianists/keyboardists Gerald Clayton, Tigran Hamasyan & Adam Benjamin, guitarist Nir Felder, bassist Ben Street and drummer Nate Wood.
www.benwendel.com

10. Christian Scott - Christian aTunde Adjuah (Concord)
The trumpeter continues to develop his own compositional style with a lengthy collection of original music that melds multiple musical genres.
www.christianscott.tv

What were your favorites this year?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Tribute to Michael Brecker 5


This morning I went on Bill McCann's "Saturday Morning Edition of Jazz" on WCDB 90.9 FM to pay tribute to Michael Brecker. Today's four hour program marked the fifth year of annual tributes to the late  saxophonist.

This year I broke the program into four segments featuring Michael's playing with the Brecker Brothers, his work with Steps (Ahead), his solo albums and his work as a sidemen in the 70's, 80's and 90's.

Here's what was played:

“D.B.B.” (4:51) 
CD:  Brecker Brothers - The Brecker Brothers (1975)
Track:  #9
Composer:  Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker (trumpet), David Sanborn (alto sax), Bob Mann (guitar), Don Grolnick (keys), Will Lee (bass), Harvey Mason (drums), Ralph McDonald (percussion)

“Grease Piece” (5:50)
Brecker Brothers - Back to Back (1976)
Track:  #7
Composer:  Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker (trumpet), David Sanborn (alto sax), Steve Khan (guitar), Don Grolnick (keys), Will Lee (bass), Christopher Parker  (drums), Ralph McDonald (percussion)

“Squids” (7:45)
Brecker Brothers - Don’t Stop the Music (1977)
Track:  #4
Composer:  Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker (trumpet), Steve Khan, Hiram Bullock (guitar), Don Grolnick, Doug Riley (keys), Will Lee (bass), Steve Gadd (drums), Ralph McDonald (percussion)

Inside Out” (9:31)
Brecker Brothers - Heavy Metal Bebop (1978)
Track:  #2
Composer:  Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker (trumpet), Barry Finnerty (guitar), Neil Jason (bass), Terry Bozzio (drums)

Tee’d Off” (3:44)
Brecker Brothers – Détente (1980)
Track: #4
Composer: Michael Brecker
Randy Brecker (trumpet), Hiram Bullock (guitar), George Duke (synth), Mark Gray (fender Rhodes), Neil Jason (bass), Steve Jordan (drums)

“Bathsheba” (6:00)
Brecker Brothers - Straphangin’ (1981)
Track:  #3
Composer:  Michael Brecker
Randy Brecker (trumpet), Barry Finnerty (guitar), Mark Gray (keys), Marcus Miller (bass), Richie Morales (drums), Don Alias (percussion)

“Sperhical” (5:58)
Brecker Brothers - Return of the Brecker Brothers (1992)
Track:  #9
Composer:  Michael Brecker
Randy Brecker (trumpet), Mike Stern (guitar), George Whitty (keys), Will Lee (bass), Dennis Chambers (drums), Don Alias (percussion)

“The Nightwalker” (8:44)
Brecker Brothers - Out of the Loop (1994)
Track:  #8
Composer:  Michael Brecker
Randy Brecker (trumpet), Dean Brown (guitar), George Whitty (keys), James Genus (bass), Steve Jordan (drums), Steve Thornton (percussion)

“Not Ethiopia” (10:59)
CD:  Steps Ahead Smokin in the Pit (1980)
Track:  Disc 2, Track #2
Composer:  Michael Brecker
Mike Mainieri (vibes), Kaumi Watanabe (guitar), Don Grolnick (piano), Eddie Gomez (bass), Steve Gadd (drums)

“Kyoto” (6:59)
Steps Ahead - Step by Step (1980)
Track:  #2
Composer:  Mike Mainieri
Mike Mainieri (vibes), Don Grolnick (piano), Eddie Gomez (bass), Steve Gadd (drums)

“Patch of Blue” (7:50)
Steps Ahead Paradox (1982)
Track:  #3
Composer:  Mike Mainieri
Mike Mainieri (vibes), Don Grolnick (piano), Eddie Gomez (bass), Peter Erskine (drums)

“Islands” (6:23)
Steps Ahead Steps Ahead (1983)
Track:  #3
Composer:  Mike Mainieri
Mike Mainieri (vibes), Eliane Elias (piano), Eddie Gomez (bass), Peter Erskine (drums)

Original Rays” (9:04)
Michael Brecker – Michael Brecker (1987)
Track: #6
Composer:  Michael Brecker, Mike Stern, Don Grolnick
Pat Metheny (guitar), Kenny Kirkland (piano), Charlie Haden (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)

Chime This” (7:50)
Michael Brecker – Don’t Try This At Home (1988)
Track: #2
Composer:  Don Grolnick
Mike Stern (guitar), Don Grolnick (piano), Charlie Haden (bass), Adam Nussbaum

Never Alone” (5:36)
Michael Brecker – Now You See It … Now You Don’t (1990)
Track:  #4
Composer:  Michael Brecker
Jim Beard (keyboards), Victor Bailey (electric bass), Omar Hakim (drums), Don Alias (percussion)

Slings and Arrows” (6:20)
Michael Brecker – Tales From The Hudson (1996)
Track:  #1
Composer:  Michael Brecker
Pat Metheny (guitar), Joey Calderazzo (piano), Dave Holland (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)

How Long ‘Til the Sun” (7:39)
Michael Brecker – Two Blocks From The Edge (1998)
Track:  #7
Composer:  Michael Brecker
Joey Calderazzo (piano), James Genus (bass), Jeff “Tain” Watts (drums)

Arc of the Pendulum” (9:00)
Michael Brecker – Time Is Of The Essence (1999)
Track:  #1
Composer:  Michael Brecker
Pat Metheny (guitar), Larry Goldings (organ), Elvin Jones (drums)

Incandescence” (5:21)
Michael Brecker – Nearness of You – The Ballad Book (2001)
Track:  #6
Composer:  Michael Brecker
Pat Metheny (guitar), Herbie Hancock (piano), Chalie Haden (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)

Night Jessamine” (5:23)
Michael Brecker Quindectet – Wide Angles (2003)
Track:  #5
Composer:  Michael Brecker
Alex Sipiagin (trumpet), Robin Eubanks (trombone), Peter Gordon (french horn), Steve Wilson (flute), Iain Dixon (clarinet & bass clarinet), Charles Pillow (oboe & English horn), Mark Feldman (violin), Joyce Hammann  (violin), Lois Martin (viola), Erik Friedlander (cello), Adam Rogers (guitar),
John Patitucci (bass), Antonio Sanchez (drums), Daniel Sadownick (percussion)

Loose Threads” (8:34)
Michael Brecker – Pilgrimage (2007)
Track:  #8
Composer:  Michael Brecker
Pat Metheny (guitar), Herbie Hancock (piano), John Patitucci (bass), Jack DeJohnete (drums)

Freight Train” (11:28)
Jack Wilkins – Merge  (1978)
Track:  #9
Composer:  Tommy Flanagan
Randy Brecker (trumpet), Jack Wilkins (guitar), Phil Markowitz (piano), John Burr (bass), Al Foster (drums)

Ethereggae” (8:23)
John Abercrombie – Night (1984)
Track:  #1
Composer:  Jan Hammer
John Abercrombie (guitar), Jan Hammer (keys), Jack DeJohnette (drums)

Thieves in the Temple” (17:42)
Herbie Hancock – The New Standard - Live in Japan (1996)
Track:  #2
Composed by Prince
John Scofield (guitar), Herbie Hancock (piano), Dave Holland (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums), Don Alias (percussion)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Top 10 of 2011


Here are ten albums I really enjoyed this year:

1. Mathias Eick - Skala (ECM)
Best known for his work with the ten-piece Norwegian band Jaga Jazzist, the trumpeter's second solo album is a collection of melodic, pop-influenced instumental compositions. If this is what jazz sounds like in Norway, I'm moving.

2. Le Boeuf Brothers - In Praise of Shadows (Nineteen-Eight Records)
Twin brothers Remy (saxophone/clarinet) and Pascal (piano/keyboards) have created an incredible hybrid recording that features an acoustic quintet + string quartet paired with an added layer of post-production electronics.

3. Chris Tarry - Rest of the Story (Nineteen-Eight Records)
The latest collection of songs from the Canadian bassist and his working quintet was released as as a beautifully packaged book & CD set - complete with 100 pages of Tarry's original fiction - but the music easily stands on its own.

4. Death Cab for Cutie Codes & Keys (Atlantic)
Another collection of finely crafted, tuneful, ear-cathing songs - given a studio shine - from one of my favorite pop bands. While their previous effort Narrow Stairs felt like a misstep, this one sounds like a worthy successor to Plans.

5. Magnus Öström - Thread of Life (ACT)
The drummer from the late Esbjorn Svenssen's trio has created the closest thing we'll ever get to a new EST album. If only his choice of cover art was as tasteful as the music.

6. Yellowjackets - Timeline (Mack Avenue)
Joyful, unpretentious contemporary jazz from a group that's been around for three decades. These four guys are partially responsible for turning me on to jazz back in the early 90's.

7. Bon Iver Bon Iver (Jagjaguwar)
At first listen I was less than thrilled, but this music grew on me with repeated listens. Best experienced with headphones and a view of nature. Big thanks to Matt Loiacono for introducing me to this album.

8. James Farm - James Farm (Nonesuch)
An all-star, collaborative quartet featuring saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Eric Harland. I hope this group is just getting started.

9. Coldplay - Mylo Xylto (Capital)
The production on this album alone makes for an interesting listen, but the English foursome has once again found a way to craft a collection of uplifting, listener friendly tunes that sound familiar, yet new. Plus, it makes for a great soundtrack to my new running habit.

10. MuteMath - Odd Soul (Warner Brothers)
Nice combination of vintage and contemporary sounds paired with creative song writing and killer vocals. Plan and simple - this music rocks.

What were your favorites this year?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Tribute to Michael Brecker 4

This morning I went on Bill McCann's "Saturday Morning Edition of Jazz" on WCDB 90.9 FM to pay tribute to the late saxophonist Michael Brecker. Today's four hour program marked the fourth year of annual tributes to the biggest musical influence in my life.

The music was broken down into several sections focusing on Brecker's work as a sideman from the '70s & '80s; his playing with large ensembles; music from his own albums and songs from his work as a sideman in the '90s & '00s.

Mel LewisMel Lewis & Friends (1977)
6 – Sho’ Nuff Did (10:20)
Composed by Thad Jones
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Cecil Bridgewater (trumpet, first solo), Gregory Hebert (alto sax), Hank Jones (piano), Ron Carter (bass) Mel Lewis (drums)

Jack WilkinsMerge (1977)
5 – What Is This Thing Called Love? (8:05)
Composed by Cole Porter
Randy Brecker (flugelhorn), Jack Wilkins (guitar), Phil Markowitz (piano), John Burr (bass), Al Foster (drums)

Chick CoreaThree Quartets (1981)
5 – Folk Song (5:47)
Composed by Chick Corea
Chick Corea (piano), Eddie Gomez (bass), Steve Gadd (drums)

Jaco PastoriusThe Birthday Concert (1981)
1 – Soul Intro/The Chicken (8:00)
Composed by Jaco Pastorius/Pee Wee Ellis
Jaco Pastorius (bass), Bob Mintzer (tenor sax), Don Alias (congas), Peter Erskine (drums), big band

Franco AmbrosettiGin and Pentatonic (1985)
3 – Yes or No (8:07)
Composed by Wayne Shorter
Franco Ambrosetti (trumpet), Lew Soloff (trumpet), Michael Mossman (trumpet), Steve Coleman (alto sax), Alex Brofsky (French horn), Howard Johnson (tuba/bari sax), Tommy Flanagan (piano), Dave Holland (bass), Daniel Humair (drums)

GRP All-Star Big BandAll Blues (1995)
8 – Mysterioso/Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are (8:12)
Composed by Thelonious Monk, arranged by Michael Abene
Chick Corea (piano), big band

GRP All-Star Big Band All Blues (1995)
7 – Blue Miles (8:12)
Composed by Chick Corea, arranged by Russell Ferrante
Chick Corea (piano), big band

Michael BreckerMichael Brecker (1987)
3 – Choices (8:06)
Composed by Mike Stern
Pat Metheny (guitar), Kenny Kirkland (piano), Charlie Haden (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)

Michael BreckerDon’t Try This At Home (1988)
1 – Itsbynne Reel (7:41)
Composed by Michael Brecker & Don Grolnick
Mike Stern (guitar), Don Grolnick (piano), Charlie Haden (bass), Jeff Andrews (electric bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums), Mark O’Connor (violin)

Michael BreckerNow You See It … Now You Don’t (1990)
5 – Peep (7:25)
Composed by Michael Brecker
Joey Calderazzo (piano), Jim Beard (keyboards), Victor Bailey (electric bass), Jay Anderson (bass), Adam Nussbaum (drums), Jon Herington (guitar)

Michael BreckerTales From The Hudson (1996)
8 – Willie T (8:13)
Composed by Don Grolnick
Pat Metheny (guitar), Joey Calderazzo (piano), Dave Holland (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)

Michael BreckerTwo Blocks From The Edge (1998)
5 – Cat’s Cradle (6:43)
Composed by Joey Calderazzo
Joey Calderazzo (piano), James Genus (bass), Jeff “Tain” Watts (drums)

Michael BreckerTime Is Of The Essence (1999)
4 – Timeline (6:06)
Composed by Pat Methney
Pat Metheny (guitar), Larry Goldings (organ), Elvin Jones (drums)

Michael BreckerNearness of You – The Ballad Book (2001)
11 – I Can See Your Dreams (3:50)
Composed by Michael Brecker
Pat Metheny (guitar), Herbie Hancock (piano), Chalie Haden (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)

Michael Brecker QuindectetWide Angles (2003)
4 – Timbuktu (7:58)
Composed by Michael Brecker
Alex Sipiagin (trumpet), Robin Eubanks (trombone), Peter Gordon (french horn), Steve Wilson (flute), Iain Dixon (clarinet & bass clarinet), Charles Pillow (oboe & English horn), Mark Feldman (violin), Joyce Hammann (violin), Lois Martin (viola), Erik Friedlander (cello), Adam Rogers (guitar), John Patitucci (bass), Antonio Sanchez (drums), Daniel Sadownick (percussion)

Michael BreckerPilgrimage (2007)
4 – Tumbleweed (9:36)
Composed by Michael Brecker
Pat Metheny (guitar), Brad Mehldau (piano), John Patitucci (bass), Jack DeJohnete (drums)

John Patitucci Now (1998)
5 – Labor Day (9:30)
Composed by John Patitucci
John Scofield (guitar), John Patitucci (bass), Bill Stewart (drums)

Steve KhanCrossings (1993)
10. While My Lady Sleeps (6:24)
Composed by Bronislau Kaper/Gus Kahn
Steve Kahn (guitar), Anthony Jackson (electric bass), Denis Chambers (drums), Manolo Badrena (percussion)

McCoy TynerInfinity (1995)
7 – Impressions (11:11)
Composed by John Coltrane
McCoy Tyner (piano), Avery Sharpe (bass), Aaron Scott (drums)

Horace SilverThe Hardbop Grandpop (1996)
1 – I Want You (5:17)
Composed by Horace Silver
Claudio Roditi (trumpet), Steve Turre (trombone), Ronnie Cuber (bari sax), Ron Carter (bass), Lewis Nash (drums)

Doky BrothersDoky Brothers (1995)
1 – While We Wait (5:56)
Composed by Niels Lan Doky
Niels Lan Doky (piano), Chris Minh Doky (bass), Teri Lyn Carrington (drums), Frank Stangerup (acoustic guitar)

Don GrolnickMedianoche (1996)
5. Cape Verdean Blues (4:54)
Composed by Horace Silver
Don Grolnick (piano), Dave Valentin (flute), Mike Mainieri (vibes), Andy Gonzalez (bass), Don Alias (timbales & percussion), Steve Berrios (bongos, drums & percussion), Milton Cardona (congas & percussion)

Charlie HadenAmerican Dreams (2002)
11 – Bird Food (7:29)
Composed by Ornette Coleman
Charlie Haden (bass), Brad Mehldau (piano), Brian Blade (drums)

Jeff “Tain” WattsBar Talk (2002)
4. Mr. JJ (9:51)
Composed by Jeff “Tain” Watts
Jeff “Tain” Watts (drums), Branford Marsalis (tenor sax), Joey Calderazzo (piano), Eric Revis (bass)