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Michael Brecker: A Musician’s Quilt

Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker (photo: John Sann)
Michael Brecker with his brother Randy in 1993
Michael Brecker at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2004
Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker

One of the most beloved and highly respected musicians of his generation, saxophonist Michael Brecker has spent four decades playing with a passionate intensity and incredible soulfulness in genres ranging from pop, funk and jazz to world beat and chamber music.

At this writing, Brecker is back in the woodshed, continuing his life-long search for new sounds, new modes of expression. It’s been that kind of roller coaster ride for Brecker since being diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in May 2005. In the months that followed, he has undergone a barrage of tests, surgeries, therapies, trials and protocols to fight this deadly disease. In January 2006, Brecker received an experimental haplo (half-matching) blood stem cell transplant, with his daughter Jess as the donor. Still too weak to commune with his horn, he’s playing the EWI again, investigating its rainbow of sonic possibilities via MIDI hookup to his new Apple G5 computer. His longtime friend and programming partner George Whitty has been working with Brecker on some advanced surround sound applications with the EWI.

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