Michael Brecker passed away today.
I first became aware of Michael Brecker when I was in high school. His band was on one of those PBS Newport Jazz Festival shows. They played “Original Rays” and he did that killer EWI stuff that he could do. It totally knocked me out. I taped it and watched it over and over. He played some stuff on that set that was SO burnin’. It was one of the first times I realized that jazz could be so fiery and energetic that it just made me want to jump in the air and shout.
Years later I heard him at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival with McCoy Tyner. It was one of those special religious musical experiences. A few days ago I was listening to Pat Metheny’s 80/81 and thinking about how bad Michael Brecker is. Too bad that is has become a was. Thank you, Michael, for all the great music.