I haven’t been a fan of the trumpet as lead instrument; frankly, I
found the tone imposing and quite abrasive at times. However, after
having a few informative conversations, I promptly returned to the
music room with a few borrowed copies in hand by Miles
Davis, Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbard, and Lee
Morgan and most recently, I was introduced to a phenomenal
trumpeter named Kenny Dorham. After this rejuvenating experience,
I’ve changed my tone
therefore succumbing to the reality that jazz isn’t the same without
the lineage of the aforementioned artist as soloists and headliners.
Recently in my quest to discovered new music my thought process was
redirected to trumpeter “Randy Brecker’”, his name strategically woven within a list of
new projects with a cleverly titled record called “34th
Michael Brecker and Ada Rovatti ~
Tenor Saxophone, David Sanborn ~ Alto Saxophone, Ronnie Cuber ~
Baritone Saxophone, Fred Wesley and Michael Davis ~ Trombone, Adam
Rogers and Chris Taylor ~ Guitar, Chris Doky ~ Bass, Gary Haase ~ Bass
and Programming, George Whitty ~ Keyboards and Programming, Clarence
Penn ~ Drums, Zach Danziger ~ Drum Programming, Makeeba Mooncycle ~
Voice, J Phoenix ~ Vocals and Randy Brecker ~ Trumpet and Flugelhorn.
opener and title track “34th
N Lex” positioned itself with the right formula in the lead
position a true indication in the direction “34th
N Lex” will take you musically.
The tonal exchange in the horn section featuring (Randy B., D.
Sanborn, M. Brecker and R. Cuber) is reminiscent of the earlier Brecker
Brother recordings, boppin’, swingin’ and groovin’ topped
off with a cup of tasty funk!
the second spot, Randy’s ears
are penned to pulse of the streets with hip-hop influenced groove
called “Streeange” (strange) featuring Makeeba
Mooncycle chatting voice interweaving with Randy’s muted trumpet challenges but never deviates from this
“Shanghigh” drops in next position with a hip groove charted by Brecker,
he raises the scale a bit with piercing notes and driving rhythms
by his sidekicks clearly jams without haste while boppin’ into a
mood swing kind of groove. Keyboardist George
Whitty infiltrates the set with a sonic yet timbre solos on the
keys with define purpose!
approach to his horn maintains the groove with a mid-tempo piece
called “All 4 Love”
featuring vocalist J Phoenix illustrates
why jazz and Neo Soul kinship flows rhythmically and harmonically
without blunder when properly executed.
“Let It Go” is another signature jam by Brecker with his journeymen blowing infectiously adding color with a
hint of funky additives sliced and diced with vocal effects by Gary
Haase & the GH Vocal Machine serves up a near perfect musical
changes gears at the 6th slot featuring the flugelhorn and
trumpet solos on a cut titled “Foregone
Conclusion”. He continues to cultivate the untamed while the
tenor horn of brother Michael expressively compliments this piece with
another fruitful exchange of musical ideas.
“Hula Dula” takes flight while under the raging flame of the
churning brass section featuring Randy
Cuber’s baritone executing fluid tonality burning each note one
click at a time inducing Brecker’s
trumpet into a rasp fiery!
the 8th spot, Randy
keeps the jazz groove going with “The
Fisherman” (which is dedicated too the late “Bob
Berg”) featuring the talents of alto saxophonist David
Sanborn. After listening too this track, I was casually reminded
what contemporaryjazz is all about, engaging and inspiring music
that’s accessible and inclusive without being boring.
relentless obsession with the groove demonstrates his uncanny ability
to never “Give It Up”. Meanwhile,
the unison of contemporaryjazz (s) most wanted horn players
collectively grabs your attention with an inviting solo by legendary
trombonist Fred Wesley (of
the JB’s) who creatively expresses harmony amongst the giants in
in at the ten spot on 34th
N Lex, the music unveils jazz within itself with a sudden burst of
vamping chops called “Tokyo
Freddie”, this 4 plus minute surplus of musical energy adds fuel
to the fire without hesitation.
last spot tenor saxophonist Ada
Rovatti burns the cold steel on a track titled “The
Castle Rocks”, Randy
extrudes soulfully while enhancing keyboardist George
Whitty into a percussive latitude with an Island flavor
penetrating grooves overlapping the textured funk of the synthesized
has simply outdone himself with “34th
N Lex” (solidly compliments his two previous recording “Hangin’
In The City and Into The Sun). If
you’re looking for jazz with passion and abundance of energized
musicianship with a touch of classic Brecker
Brothers horns topped off with rhythmic grooves you’ve found the
right record, don’t hesitate buy it!