Michael Brecker

COMPOSERS: Michael Brecker
LABELS: Impulse
WORKS: Tales from the Hudson
PERFORMER: Michael Brecker (ts), Pat Metheny (g), McCoy Tyner, Joey Calderazzo (p), Dave Holland (b), Jack DeJohnette (d), Don Alias (perc)
CATALOGUE NO: IMP 11912 (distr. New Note)
Brecker is the most influential saxophonist since John Coltrane. Technically dextrous, harmonically astute and with that most valuable of possessions in jazz, a personal tone, he has been the most visible saxophonist for hire on the New York scene for over twenty years. In full flight he has the power to topple buildings, such is the emotional force of his playing. His 1987 album Michael Brecker marked his debut as a leader on record and numbers among the finest albums from the Eighties. It is fair to say that his two subsequent albums, Don’t Try This at Home and Now You See It (Now You Don’t), didn’t cut it in the way the first did, but with Tales from the Hudson, his first album under his own name in five years, he’s back on track. Brecker, a heated improviser with the rugged mien of mid-period Coltrane, surrounds himself with excellent sidemen including Metheny and DeJohnette, who both played such an important role in the success of his first album. Brecker and Tyner spar effectively on two tracks without reaching the outer limits; it’s almost as if they made a gentleman’s agreement not to try and upstage each other – which is, of course, what everyone wants them to do. SN