"Pop" features Randy Brecker leading an all-star band performing the songs of Frank Zappa, Steely Dan, Bette Midler, Paul Simon, The Average White Band, Blood Sweat & Tears, and others, arranged and re-imagined by Kenny Werner.
Randy Brecker, trumpet
Kenny Werner, piano
John Patitucci, bass
David Sanchez, tenor saxophone
Amanda Brecker, vocals
Adam Rogers, guitar
Nate Smith, drums
The trumpet sound of Randy Brecker is more ubiquitous than one might think. Whether you know it or not, you've undoubtedly heard it before.
Within the jazz world, Brecker is perhaps best known as the former co-leader of the Brecker Brothers with his late brother, saxophonist Michael Brecker. The trumpeter and flugelhornist is a significant bandleader, having recorded over a dozen titles under his own name, including the 2012 four-time Grammy-nominated Half Note/Red Dot recording The Jazz Ballad Song Book with the WDR Big Band.
As impressive as his body of work in jazz might be, it's Brecker's trumpet sound on classic pop and R&B recordings that will make collective jaws drop, as if to say, "Randy Brecker's on THAT recording?"
Suddenly it all makes sense. You've already heard him countless times since the '70s - on Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run (1975), Frank Zappa's Zappa in NY (1978), Steely Dan's Gaucho (1980), James Taylor's One Man Dog (1972) and New Moon Shine (1991), Elton John's Lady Samantha (1980), Johnny Winter's John Dawson Winter III (1974), Lou Reed's Berlin (1973) and New Sensations (1989), James Brown's Get on the Good Foot (1972), Parliament's Mothership Connection (1975), Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms (1985), and on debut albums from the likes of Chaka Khan and Jaco Pastrious.
Brecker has also appeared on multiple recordings by Paul Simon, Todd Rundgren, Carly Simon, Aretha Franklin, David Sanborn, Bette Midler, The Average White Band, Ringo Starr, Diana Ross, Horace Silver, Esther Phillips, Blood Sweat & Tears, Bootsy Collins, and countless others.
To call Randy Brecker a prolific artist simply doesn't do the man justice.
This week's run at the Blue Note highlights Brecker's "pop" side, which should not and will not be overlooked any longer. Brecker has recruited some of his favorite musicians to perform songs by Frank Zappa, Steely Dan, James Brown, Paul Simon and others: pianist Kenny Werner, bassist John Patitucci, saxophonist David Sanchez, guitarist Adam Rodgers, and drummer Nate Smith. Joining the band will be vocalist Amanda Brecker – who also happens to be the trumpeter's daughter – in her Blue Note debut. The music will be arranged and re-imagined by pianist Kenny Werner, a similarly versatile musician with strong pop sensibilities and a taste for adventure.
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