This year marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Score, the debut album from Jazz trumpet great Randy Brecker. But Brecker’s contributions to music extend well beyond his impressive and diverse solo discography.
A key participant in the early Rock crossovers with Jazz, Brecker was a part of Blood, Sweat & Tears’ 1968 debut album and formed early Fusion group Dreams with his saxophonist brother Michael; the later Brecker Brothers band would go on to release six albums and scored numerous Grammy nominations in their relatively brief run through the early ’80s (they'd reunite for various projects and tours in subsequent years).
Along with tenure in Clark Terry’s Big Bad Band, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and Jaco Pastorius’ early ’80s group (among others), Brecker has also been an enduring in-demand studio musician, appearing on albums by everyone from Frank Sinatra, James Taylor and Lou Reed to Aerosmith, Parliament-Funkadelic and Frank Zappa.
A six-time Grammy winner, Brecker has remained incredibly active; this year he’ll release two new albums, including Rocks, a collection of his compositions from various periods of his career recorded with the NDR Big Band and Hamburg Radio Jazz Orchestra and featuring guests like Ada Rovatti and David Sanborn.
Brecker is coming to Cincinnati to perform four sets this weekend (Feb. 15-16) at the intimate Jazz hotspot Caffè Vivace in Walnut Hills. For his two shows on Friday (at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.), Cincinnati’s Phil DeGreg Trio will back him up; Brecker is joined by the local Five Little Bears ensemble for his two Saturday sets (also at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.).
Tickets for each show ($20-$35) can be purchased in advance via Eventbrite here.