Saturday, January 13, 2007

Two blocks from the edge

AP is reporting that Michael Brecker has left us, at the far too young age of 57. He had been suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome over the past couple of years, and according to reports it had turned into leukemia. I guess even with the valiant attempts made by the jazz community at large, his family never found a donor.

Brecker gets a bad rap, mostly for all his copycats with overly bright tone and fingerwork exceeding their musicality (never mind the EWI), but he created some wonderful music that went beyond his 'Trane-isms. The McCoy Tyner album he's on, Infinity, is indebted to Trane without being merely imitative, and the intro to "Delta City Blues" from Two Blocks From The Edge is a fairly direct forebearer to Chris Potter's solo intros (especially the one before "Boogie Stop Shuffle" on Lift). He's killing on Joni Mitchell's Shadows and Light, mightily matched Dewey Redman's efforts on Metheny's 80/81 and added a hefty dose of soul to any number of sessions he did in the '70s and '80s. He will be missed.

RIP Michael. (Edited to add: I've been playing Tales from the Hudson tonight, a sleeper record from the '90s. What a great band - Brecker, Joey Calderazzo, Pat Metheny, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette, with McCoy Tyner guesting on a couple of tunes, including a burning "Song for Bilbao.")


EDIT (10:45 pm): Via David R. Adler, Alice Coltrane's gone too? I never explored her music, though by all accounts her renaissance of recent years has been spectacular.


Darcy's been blogging heavily from IAJE. Great photos and fantastic post-mortem, as usual. I can't exactly say I wish I was there - the program seems fairly similar to last year's, and given my routine appearances in NYC, the novelty of it is somewhat diminished - but it's still a cool hang. I'm happy to hear Pulse went off well, and to see some of my friends like Quinsin and Melissa Stylianou getting some props.

No comments: