34th N Lex

COMPOSERS: Randy Brecker
PERFORMER: Randy Brecker


Having regrouped by retreating into neo-classicism in the Eighties, jazz reasserted itself in the Nineties by resorting to one of its classic strategies: extending hospitality to an extraordinary variety of other musics, adapting and assimilating them.

The music was thus able to emerge in the new millennium as unashamedly polystylistic, yet retaining its core strengths: interactive spontaneity and improvisational imagination.

Funk is also strongly featured in another quintessentially New York-oriented album, randy brecker’s 34th N Lex. Stylistically, trumpeter Brecker is as at home with the glossy, high-class fusion purveyed by the Brecker Brothers (saxophonist brother Michael is part of this album’s core band) as with big-band modern mainstream jazz, and both influences can be heard here.

But 34th N Lex is a paean to Brecker’s Manhattan neighbourhood, and thus contains nods to all the musical ingredients that go to forming the New York stew: soul jazz, smooth funk, hard bop, hip-hop, Latin music.


Unsurprisingly, given his 30-year occupation of jazz’s top echelon, Randy Brecker has assembled a peerless band for this clearly heartfelt project: alongside his brother are altoist supreme David Sanborn, baritone maestro Ronnie Cuber, James Brown trombonist Fred Wesley and many others, all contributing to a garrulous, rumbustious but carefully programmed session.