Apr 28, 2019
I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Randy Brecker in the past for this Podcast, going back to 2015. The ace trumpet and flugelhorn player will celebrate his 75th birthday next year, but he is still going strong. The past few months have seen a number of large ensemble works featuring his inimitable style, with more to come shortly. Rocks, a hot recording of Brecker with the NDR Big Band-The Hamburg Jazz Orchestra, with special guests David Sanborn, Ada Rovatti and Wolfgang Haffner was released in late February. Beyond the killer solos you expect from this group of players, fans of Randy Brecker compositions from different periods in his career will be excited to listen to some new arrangement by Jörg Achim Keller.
An expanded and remastered version of Zappa in New York was recently released, giving fans of the four-night run at the Palladium in New York between Christmas and New Year’s 1976 new music to hear. This 40th anniversary edition includes versions of every song played during the famous engagement, with many of them previously unheard. Brecker, with his brother Michael (tenor sax, flute), was the linchpin of the horn section for these shows, along with Tom “Bones” Malone (trombone), Ronnie Cuber (baritone sax), and “Blue Lou” Marini (alton sax).
In May, Shiny!, a tribute to Brecker’s old friend Lew Soloff will be released, with Randy having a key role in Lisa Maxwell’s Jazz Orchestra. A song in memory of Soloff, “Ludie” is included in the podcast as an advance treat. Watch for a podcast interview with Lisa Maxwell in May.
On May 16, the Tribeca Performing Arts Center will host a “Salute to Randy Brecker” featuring Randy joining Peter and Will Anderson (reeds), Veronica Swift (vocals), and jazz masters George Cables (piano), Buster Williams (bass) and Kenny Washington (drums).
And finally, later in the year. Brecker Plays Rovatti will be released, featuring 10 new Ada Rovatti compositions. For this CD. Randy is backed by Dave Kikoski, Alex Claffy, Rodney Holmes and Café! with special appearances by Jim Beard and Adam Rogers.
Randy and I talk about all of this and more during podcast 677, featuring musical selections from Rocks (“Squids” featuring Frank Delle and “The Dipshit” featuring Sanborn); Zappa in New York (“America Drinks”) and Shiny! (“Ludie”).