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Brecker, Randy

band michael jazz cobham

Brecker, Randy, pop-jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist, brother of Michael Brecker; b. Philadelphia, Nov. 27, 1945. His first instrument was the piano, which his father played professionally; his love of R&B led him to take up the trumpet while in high school. While studying classical trumpet at school, Randy would play with local R&B bands at night. He attended the Univ. of Ind. but quit early to pursue a career as a professional musician; in 1966, he moved to N.Y and a year later joined Blood, Sweat and Tears, before playing with Horace Silver, Art Blakey, and Duke Pearson. He was first spotted around N.Y in a prize-winning youth quintet along with David Liebman and Cameron Brown, then featured with Duke Pearson’s big band and other groups. At he same time, he was playing with rock and pop luminaries such as Janis Joplin and Stevie Wonder and this diversity informed his next move. In 1970, his brother Michael had joined him in N.Y. and together they formed the jazz-rock group Dreams; although they had very little success at this time, they found universal critical acclaim and commercial success in their subsequent fusion band, The Brecker Brothers-.(See entry for Michael Brecker.) He then worked with Billy Cobham, Larry Coryell, and Lew Tabackin, before forming a band which he led with his wife, Eliane Elias. In 1998, he earned a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Performance. His record release party for Into the Sun at SOB’s was aired on NHK television in Japan; he co-headlined a tour of the U.K. with Billy Cobham in 1998.

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