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Randy Brecker: The Brecker Brothers Band Reunion

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The backstory is that Randy Brecker was putting together a band for an engagement at the Blue Note when he realized that all of the musicians he was recruiting were alumni of different iterations of the Brecker Brothers, the renowned fusion band he and his saxophonist brother Michael ran in the ’70s. Randy decided to turn the gig into a tribute to Michael, who died in 2007, with Randy’s wife Ada Rovatti (the sole non-BBB alumnus) taking on the sax role. This live DVD and studio CD resulted.

While they’re not night and day, the contrast between the studio and live sets is marked: Whereas the performance video crackles, for the most part the studio session lies flat; it perks up only occasionally, mostly toward the end when the group steps out of the box it created all those years ago. Although much of the freshly written material appears on both discs, the stage brings out an extra layer of animation that seems to have been sucked up by the studio walls in the CD versions.

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