Brecker Brothers that was released by Arista Records in 1978. The album also includes the studio track "East River", which reached number 34# in the UK singles chart in November 1978.
Recorded live in New York, this explosive set of jazz, funk, and rock material was without question ahead of its time. Michael and Randy's use of electronically altered saxophone and trumpet sounds is amazing.
This is just an absolute JEWEL. Zappa fans will recognize Terry Bozzio
in addition to the Brecker brothers themselves, and MAN, what a combo!
Michael Brecker just shreds on every solo, and Randy finds nuances with
the "electric trumpet" that have never been heard before or since. Some
will want this for the novelty of the electric tenor sax and trumpet,
but there are FINE examples of modern BeBop solos here, over a
high-powered rhythm section that kicks and jumps all over everything the
soloists lay down. This is the kind of rhythm section that can make
ANYBODY sound good, but the Brecker brothers talent is unmatched; a
combination that presents an order of magnitude. Bass players NEED to
hear Neil Jason, and guitar players NEED to hear Barry Finnerty on this.
Blistering tight unison lines will prove once again why Zappa saved his
most intricate horn passages for these guys, and why you won't hear
them at tempo with anybody else. I sincerely hope for more of this
largely unexplored flavor of jazz. I haven't found anything else that
quite measures up to this.
"Heavy Metal Be-Bop" is a land mark fusion recording. The first tune is
from the studio and the rest are recorded from a smoking live set. "East
River" is the studio tune and is vocal. The song has a funky bassline
and is fun but compared to the rest of the disc it is out of place. The
rest of the disc is unreal. The band consists of Neal Jason on bass,
Barry Finnerty on guitar, Terry Bozzio on drums, Michael Brecker on Sax,
and Randy Brecker on trumpet. "Inside Out" is a Randy Brecker tune and
Randy, Michael and Barry all have some fun with it. The tune is basic
(For the Brecker Brothers) and they all play over the groove set by
Bozzio/Jason. "Some Skunk Funk" is another Randy Brecker composition and
a classic. This is one of the funkiest tunes that I have ever heard and
the brothers play some of the greatest horn lines that you will ever
hear. There are also some unison lines and the power of the band is on
par with metal. "Sponge" is another funky piece and it features the
explosive drumming of Bozzio. The band trades fours throughout Bozzio's
rhythmic wizardry. "Funky sea, Funky Dew' is a Michael Brecker
extravaganza. He takes the studio version and improves on it. Not only
is his playing during the song great but there is a solo at the end that
is amazing and then he is joined by just the bass of Jason which
elevates him to a level that is beyond words. "Squids" is the closer to
this set and has the brothers ,once again, playing over some serious
funk. This disc is one of the greatest I've ever heard and is the
greatest Horn orientated fusion disc ever. I only wish that there were
more than five live songs but those five are worth any price. As highly
recommended as anything can be.
This is the most incredible music ever, no BB album has surpassed this. A
live album with Terry Bozzio having just joined the band after leaving
Frank Zappa. The version of Some Skunk Funk is worth the whole price.
Phenomenal! Will leave you out of breath and panting for more. One
studio track kind of ok, an attempt at top 40, but the rest is - wow!
Line up is guitar, bass, drums and Breckers. Randy plays some organ and
uses a harmonizer to add 5ths and 4ths to his trumpet, so it sounds like
more than just 2 horn players. Just hard to imagine what this would
have been like to see live. Too bad it wasn't a double album when it was
released in the late 70's. I want more of this!
1.East River (3:38)
2.Inside Out (9:32)
3.Some Skunk Funk (7:01 )
5.Funky Sea,Funky Dew (8:03)
6.Squids (7:57 )
Total Time 41:55
- Randy Brecker / electric trumpet, keyboards
- Michael Brecker / electric tenor sax
- Barry Finnerty / guitars, GuitarGanizer, background vocals
- Terry Bozzio / drums, background vocals
- Neil Jason / bass, lead vocals
- Sammy Figueroa / percussion
- Rafael Cruz / percussion
- Kask Monet / handclaps, percussion, background vocals
- Jeff Schoen / background vocals
- Roy Herring / background vocals
- Paul Schaeffer / fender rhodes
- Victoria / tambourine
- Alan Schwartzberg / drums
- Bob Clearmountain & friends / handclaps
Intermittently on the road as an acoustic duo between gaps in the schedules of their respective ultra-hip fusion bands, Larry Coryell and Steve Khan managed to record several shows and then panned the tape stream to find the nuggets for posterity. There are choices that might have been made out of the fashions of the day, such as the version of Chick Corea's "Spain" that opens the album's first side. Thankfully there are also selections that are here because both guitarists must have realized they were playing magnificently.
Coryell's flair for Wayne Shorter
extends beyond simply mastering the tunes to conceptualizing unique
guitar settings. Parts of "Juju"'s head are pronounced in simple,
chiming harmonics, a delightful way of pointing out that these players
understand the guitar in its totality, not just the parts of it that can
be used to impress speedfreaks. The hot version of "Footprints" doesn't
really express the mystery of Shorter's original mood, yet is terrifically in line with the Django Reinhardt
approach to playing a tune, once again full of the kinds of activities
fans of acoustic guitar music will find pleasurable.
"St. Gallen" is, in some ways, a remarkable performance. The long introduction sounds like a solo from Coryell, parts of which might be the missing link between him and Derek Bailey.
An episode thick with minor seconds and low, throbbing dissonance is
only one of many stops on a route that in some ways is as breathtaking
as the "milk run" that leaves the St. Gallen station and heads into the
Swiss Alps, stopping at farmhouses along the way to pick up fresh dairy
shipments. Prior to evoking this image, the piece in its initial moments
includes passages of purely show-off rapidity culminating in a lethal
swipe at the bridge, the equivalent of a mad critic throwing a knife at a
fusion guitarist mid-solo stream.
admiration for his partner is evident from the liner notes alone. His
own style is edgy and observant, and while he doesn't sound simply like
someone trying to keep up, he too easily agrees to participate in
moments of pieces that come off as more or less typical jamming, such as
"Son of Stiff Neck." As for the previously mentioned "Spain," it's too
bad they went there -- although anybody performing on this scene during
this era was expected to play this "In the Midnight Hour" of jazz
standards. A chord emphasized much beyond its importance immediately
sets the stage for a flat performance in which the main question
listeners might ask themselves is why are there so many notes in the
theme -- not the desired reaction when performing a head. The live
recording quality is excellent, the tracks fading quickly when the
Why this recording is not on CD is a mystery to me. I bought the
original LP when it first came out and was astounded by the level of
playing. Thankfully, I have some of the tracks from this record on
tape, but will order the vinyl again at some point.
No offense to
fans of Ovation guitars, but I love the fact that the instruments on
this live recording are ASW (all solid wood, with the attendant sound).
The recording quality is good, and though the playing is of a highly
virtuosic level it does not suffer from technical sterility.
"Footprints" is my favorite of the tracks. I remember when this album
came out many electric players were floored to hear jazz played like
this on acoustic guitars.
As the previous reviewer has noted, this was a remarkable album when
released in the late 1970s. To this day, I am amazed at the technical
AND musical accomplishments of Larry Coryell. A very rare individual
indeed. Here he is astounding along with fine support from fellow fusion
player Steve Khan. Guitar enthusiasts take note, if you can find a copy
of this recording, by all means grab it. It holds up extremely well. By
the way, I would like to know why the Arista records portion of Larry's
catalogue is still in some kind of musical limbo. The artist and music
fans alike deserve better. P.S. Nice cover artwork.
"Spain" (Chick Corea, Joaquín Rodrigo) – 5:20
"Bouquet" (Bobby Hutcherson) – 5:30
"Son of Stiff Neck" (Larry Coryell, Steve Khan) – 5:35
"JuJu" (Wayne Shorter) – 3:08
"St Gallen" (Larry Coryell) – 7:10
"Footprints" (Wayne Shorter) – 5:30
"General Moto’s Well Laid Plan" (Steve Swallow) – 5:07
"Toronto under the Sign of Capricorn" (Larry Coryell) – [Bonus Track] 8:38
"For Philip and Django" (Larry Coryell) – [Bonus Track] 4:32
"Rodrigo Reflections" (Larry Coryell) – [Bonus Track] 7:22
Larry Coryell – guitar
Steve Khan – guitar