Michael Brecker: March 29, 1949 – January 13, 2007
Michael Brecker Day: Saxophonist and composer Michael Brecker was born on March 29, 1949 in Philadelphia, PA. Michael was the brother of trumpeter Randy Brecker. For most of the ‘70s, the two led the highly regarded fusion group the Brecker Brothers.
Michael’s first recording as a leader was 1987’s stellar Michael Brecker, in which the saxophonist is backed by Pat Metheny, Kenny Kirkland, Jack DeJohnette, and Charlie Haden. One of the most influential tenor players of the post-bop era, Brecker was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 2007.
Michael Brecker’s “Steps Ahead” filmed at Copenhagen’s Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in 1983.
Michael Brecker, tenor sax
Mike Mainieri, vibes
Eliane Elias, piano
Eddie Gomez, bass
Peter Erskine, drums
- Skyward Bound
- Northern Cross
- Sarah’s Touch
- Both Sides Of The Coin
As a high school student in Philadelphia, Michael Brecker played the clarinet before moving on to alto saxophone, and finally tenor, prior to his gradation in 1967. He left Indiana University and moved to New York City in 1969 after only a year where he found his place as an exciting new soloist. At the age of twenty one he gained attention as a member of Dreams, a jazz/rock group led by his brother, trumpet player Randy Brecker. The band broke up after a year leaving Michael to perform briefly with both Horace Silver and then Billy Cobham before once again joining his brother to form the Brecker Brothers in 1975. This group would enjoy continual success an innovation until the early ’80s. During the early 1980s, he was also co-leader of the all-star group Steps Ahead with Mike Mainieri. The recipient of fifteen Grammy Awards as both performer and composer, Michael Brecker was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music in 2004.