Monday, February 24, 2020

Randy Brecker - 1968 [2002] "Score"

Score is the debut album by American jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker recorded in 1969 and originally released on the Solid State label. Randy Brecker's debut album features the trumpeter leading two distinct all-star small groups, each with younger brother Michael (who was only 19 when this was recorded) on tenor sax, Larry Coryell on guitar, and Hal Galper on piano. The tunes alternate between jazz-rock (a style the Brecker Brothers were later to successfully exploit) and modern mainstream jazz. There are the customary fades, popular at the time, and a light, though constant, beat throughout that makes the music both accessible and even danceable, an impressive feat considering that virtually all the tunes are originals. The Brecker Brothers exhibit a command of their horns and a maturity that was to serve them well for many years. The recording has weathered the years well, in part because even the fusion pieces never lose their focus, nor do they compromise artistry for popular fads. "The Weasel Goes Out to Lunch" is a cute, though very short, take on the childhood theme, with the remaining tracks fine examples of late-'60s popular jazz. With well-constructed arrangements, strong soloing, and catchy melodies, Brecker knew he was onto something, and this album was the first of several successful ventures.

Born in 1945 in Philadelphia to a musical family, Randy's musical talent was nurtured from an early age. He attended Indiana University from 1963-66 and later moved to New York where he landed gigs with such prominent Jazz bands as Clark Terry's Big Band. Randy also began his foray into jazz-rock by joining Blood, Sweat and Tears. Randy left BS&T to join the Horace Silver Quintet. In 1968, Randy recorded his first album, "Score", featuring a young, then unknown 19 year-old tenor saxophonist named Michael Brecker.
In the early 1970s, Randy played with many prominent artists such as Larry Coryell, Stevie Wonder and Billy Cobham. By 1975, Randy and Michael were ready to front their own band, the Brecker Brothers. The band was to become a band of immeasurable influence and impact. They went on to record a total of six albums and garner seven Grammy nominations between 1975 and 1981.
In 1992, exactly ten years after they disbanded, Randy and Michael joined forces again featuring a world tour and the triple-Grammy nominated GRP recording, "The Return of the Brecker Brothers". In the fall of 1994, the Brecker Brothers released the double-Grammy winning "Out of the Loop".
Randy released his CD for ESC, "34th n' Lex," in 2003 and this CD also brought him his third Grammy for "Best Contemporary Jazz Album."
In 2007 he was awarded his fourth Grammy for "Randy Brecker Live with the WDR Big Band". In the same year, tragically, his brother Michael passed away on Jan 13th.
Randy's CD, "Randy in Brazil," was recorded in Sao Paulo with a full complement of great Brazilian musicians and released in 2008 and the CD won the Grammy for "Best Contemporary Jazz Album," bringing Randy's Grammy total to five.

Track listing:

All compositions by Randy Brecker except where noted

"Bangalore" – 4:34
"Score" (Hal Galper) – 7:17
"Name Game" (Galper) – 5:14
"The Weasel Goes Out to Lunch" (traditional) – 1:21
"Morning Song" – 4:09
"Pipe Dream" – 4:33
"The Vamp" (Galper) – 5:14
"The Marble Sea" – 5:44


Randy Brecker – trumpet, flugelhorn, arranger
Michael Brecker – tenor saxophone
Jerry Dodgion – alto flute
Larry Coryell – guitar
Hal Galper – piano, electric piano, arranger
Eddie Gómez Рbass
Chuck Rainey – Fender bass
Bernard Purdie, Mickey Roker - drums