On Monday, April 23, trumpeter Randy Brecker (pictured) paid tribute to his brother Michael, the late tenor saxophonist, in the last of three consecutive concerts at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Joined by Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge along with violinist Rob Thomas, Brecker played new big-band arrangements of Michael’s compositions, including pieces by the winners of the first International Jazz Arranging Competition.
After battling with the disease MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome) for a year and a half, Michael Brecker died on Jan. 13 in a New York hospital of leukemia, which often follows MDS. Before his death, Brecker managed to record his final album, Pilgrimage, which will be released on May 22 and reviewed in the June issue of JazzTimes.
The three Michael Brecker tribute concerts at the University were a part of USF’s yearlong Jazz Masterworks Series. The concerts, Jazz Surge and the arranging competition are all products of the School of Music in USF’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.