During the 2012 Jazz Cruise, JazzTimes set up a make-shift video production studio in “The Boardroom,” a small room on the second deck of the MS Westerdam. Throughout the week, a succession of artists-including Kurt Elling, Freddy Cole, Ann Hampton-Callaway, Don Braden, Ken Peplowski, Laurence Hobgood, Wycliffe Gordon, Bill Charlap & Renee Rosnes and many others-came in to talk about the cruise, jazz education and their own projects. You can also see more of these video interviews at the JazzTimes YouTube channel.
Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, trumpeter Randy Brecker has been playing jazz almost as long as he’s been walking, introduced to the music by his jazz-loving father and often collaborating with his brother Michael, with whom he did hundreds of studio sessions as first-call players in the New York music scene of the 70s (that trumpet solo on Bruce Springsteen’s “Meeting Across the River” is Randy’s). Eventually the two brothers created their own group which had an enormous influence on electric jazz groups of the 70s. Both also toured and recorded as leaders of their own award-winning jazz groups. Michael died in 2007 from a rare blood disorder, but Randy has continued the family’s unique legacy in jazz with a peripatetic schedule of work as a soloist and bandleader. A mainstay of the jazz festival and cruise circuit, Randy was performing on the Jazz Cruise as a guest soloist.