16 January 2007
STEPS - STEP BY STEP
More sad news from this weekend when Michael Brecker passed away.A few years ago, Brecker was diagnosed with the blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). His family led a worldwide search to find a matching stem cell donor but to no avail. In May 2006, he was the recipient of an experimental partial matching stem cell transplant which was unsuccessful. The syndrome then led to leukemia from which he died.
Brecker was one of the reasons I first got into jazz.Fusion was the word in the late 70s and I bought lp after lp - from Weather Report to The Crusaders to Freddie Hubbard from Tappan Zee to Inner City to CTI.So how could you ever avoid the unmistakable voice of Mike Brecker? Heavy Metal Bebop was the first for me and from then on it was a case of: pick up lp study the line up check for Mike Brecker...yes...BUY IT.
So much great music -my favourites being the two Harris Simon albums released in Japan -Swish and New York Connection- on which Brecker was the featured Tenor.(I posted both of these in the early days of this blog).Steps/Steps Ahead followed which really blew me away and then the recordings and tours with the great Mike Mainieri.
In 1987 he released his first solo album on Impulse which was great and continued touring with Mike Stern(I lost count how many times I saw the Brecker/Stern band live in England and Europe ).Over time I gradually drifted away from Breckers music but still checked it out when the opportunity arose.
So instead of posting something easily available I have ripped the first Steps lp which came out on Better Days in Japan in 1981.Brecker is on firing form on tenor and joined by Eddie Gomez/Bass;Don Grolnick/Piano;Steve Gadd/Drums;Mike Mainieri/Vibes.
Ripped at 320 from the original vinyl.