Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

The Gig: Watch the Tapes

Word came hard and fast: Michael Brecker was gone. And for a number of musicians and fans at the 2007 International Association for Jazz Education Conference, there was comfort in solidarity. My experience with the news was more private: I was working at the computer, and called up an online menu of Brecker performances, spanning more than a quarter century.

There was the artist as a young man, carving up “Invitation” and “Oleo.” There he was onstage with Paul Simon in Central Park. And there he was in recent years, playing with groups I had seen and heard. Somehow this accumulation of clips, more like a dream montage than a highlight reel, encouraged a sense of connection. The footage captured the figure, in a way that recordings couldn’t match. (A similar search for the reclusive Alice Coltrane, whose passing was almost concurrent, didn’t yield much at the time.)

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published
Nate Chinen

Nate Chinen

Nate Chinen is the director of editorial content for WBGO and a longtime contributor to JazzTimes, which published 125 installments of his column “The Gig” between 2004 and 2017. For 12 years, he was a critic for The New York Times; prior to that, he wrote about jazz for the Village Voice, the Philadelphia City Paper, and several other publications. He is the author of Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century (2018) and the co-author of George Wein’s autobiography Myself Among Others: A Life in Music (2003).