Randy Brecker

If a biopic or TV series of Randy Brecker’s life was produced in Hollywood, it would likely require multiple actors to successfully capture his varied career. It’s hard to think of another accomplished jazz musician who has excelled in so many different styles of popular music: hard bop with Horace Silver and Art Blakey; big band with Mel Lewis, Clark Terry, and Duke Pearson; jazz-rock with Blood, Sweat & Tears and Dreams; fusion and funk with the Brecker Brothers and Jaco Pastorius; Brazilian music with his then-wife Eliane Elias; pop, rock, and R&B as a first-call studio musician in the ’70s and ’80s. Did I mention that he also owned and ran a jazz club—Seventh Avenue South—for several years in New York City? (When it closed in 1987, his brother Michael called it “the end of an error.”)

But the 74-year-old trumpeter is no chameleon.

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