Michael Brecker - Pilgrimage

29 May 2007

Emarcy 172 6351 | ****Michael Brecker (ts), Herbie Hancock, Brad Mehldau (p), Pat Metheny (g), John Patitucci (b) and Jack DeJohnette (d). Rec. 2006Michael Brecker’s much anticipated valedictory album, completed literally days before his untimely death of leukaemia on 13 January this year, is a tribute to his remarkable musicianship. Never once betraying the parlous state of his health, from the complex, knotty theme of the opening ‘Wing and Prayer,’ to the final and title track, the saxophonist gives his all. Indeed, his solo on ‘Wing and a Prayer’ sounds positively exuberant.

Never sparing himself, this is an album that is perhaps closest to his striking debut as a leader on Michael Brecker from 1987; indeed the instrumentation is the same, so to are the unusual ad hoc song forms (for example ‘Anagram’, ‘New Moon Lane’) and time and meter shifts that were in contrast to the essentially straight ahead disposition of his music from 1996’s Tales From The Hudson. This is highly complex, post bop; totally absorbing, it numbers among his finest work. Review: Stuart Nicholson

This review is taken from Jazzwise Issue #109, to read the most comprehensive review section of jazz and beyond and receive a  Free CD, subscribe here…

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