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George Robert Jazztet: Remember the Sound

Shortly after Michael Brecker’s passing on Jan. 13, 2007, Swiss alto saxophonist George Robert reached out to composer-arranger Jim McNeely to put together a program of original music that paid homage to the gentle sax giant. The seven inspired compositions that McNeely delivered carry many of the signatures of Brecker’s own work over his illustrious career. From the dynamic, breakneck-tempo opener, “Burn” (with special guest soloist Randy Brecker), to the mysterious and harmonically involved “Silver Spheres” to the loping “In Step, Out Ahead,” the quirky shuffle blues “Bumps,” the intricate, Brecker Brothers-ish “Hudson Funkshun” and the moving, gospel-tinged title track, this outing stands as a crowning achievement in McNeely’s prolific career, as well as a fitting tribute to one of the all-time greats. Kudos also to tenor man Robert Bonisolo, who eerily channels the spirit of Michael Brecker throughout.

Originally Published