34th N Lex
With a title inspired by trumpeter Randy Brecker's Manhattan neighborhood, 34th N Lex (ESC) captures the spirit and energy of the city that never sleeps. An all-star horn section that includes Brecker's brother, tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker, alto saxophonist David Sanborn, baritone saxophonist Ronnie Cuber and trombonist Fred Wesley provides a vibrant funk feel to several tunes, including the rousing title track, which features Cuber and Michael Brecker engaging in some fiery tradeoffs. The horns combine with Adam Rogers' nimble guitar lines on "Shanghigh," and Wesley turns in a wicked solo on the irresistible jam "Give It Up."
The vibe cools a bit on the moody "Foregone Conclusion," which is driven by the Brecker brothers' harmonies, and the urban-flavored "Streeange," wherein the Breckers solo over an atmospheric keyboard bed. Randy Brecker pays tribute to his friend, the late saxophonist Bob Berg, who was an avid angler, with "The Fisherman," an upbeat number that features some deeply felt soloing by Brecker and Sanborn. It's one of the album's standout tracks.