Michael Brecker: The Mean Time


The Mean Time


Michael Brecker (tenor sax)


Pilgrimage (Emarcy 06025)

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Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Pat Metheny (guitar), Herbie Hancock (piano), John Patitucci (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums).

Recorded: Right Track, NYC in August 2006


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

Michael Brecker had already passed away, after a lengthy battle with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and leukemia, before the release of this final CD. He had hardly played the saxophone in the months leading up to this session, but one would never guess it from this hard-blowing track. Brecker and an all-star ensemble -- Metheny, Hancock, DeJohnette and Patitucci -- are totally in sync from the opening measures. And if anyone in the band thought the ailing Brecker would take it easy, they quickly learned otherwise. He tackles the first solo, and stretches out for two minutes of high energy jazz. Here we have all the distinguishing marks that long set this saxophonist apart from the crowd -- his very smart improvised lines, his potent technique and, above all, his immediately identifiable sound. The interplay between Brecker and Metheny on the melody restatement is especially inspiring. A fitting epitaph to a remarkable career.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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  • 1 DOC HARDING // Dec 13, 2007 at 11:18 AM
    A friend just turned me on to this site, and I am very impressed! As a jazz educator and musician, this website will serve me and my students in the History of Jazz course really well. Thanks for all the hard work! Doc Harding p.s. We all miss Michael!
  • 2 Jerry Cordasco // Dec 21, 2007 at 01:38 PM
    My band got to play on the same bill with Michael when he was with Dreams at the club downstairs at the Village Gate, NYC. Way back then I could tell he was something special and he will truly be missed.
  • 3 Rui Caria // Feb 13, 2008 at 12:34 PM
    dont try this at home , im sorry michael but i have tryed , i cant play it like you master......once you told me that when you play hard you live easier , rest in peace