My week of posting interviews from NPR’s Piano Jazz show continues with a 2011 interview with the great trumpeter Randy Brecker and guest host and modern great Bill Charlap. From the site:
On this Piano Jazz session , Brecker discusses growing up in the musical proving ground of Philadelphia, and the influence that his father, an amateur pianist and songwriter, had on him and his brother, the late tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker. Randy Brecker began playing on the Philadelphia club scene while still in his teens. After moving to New York in 1966, he worked with groups ranging from Clark Terry’s Big Band to Blood Sweat and Tears
Brecker talks about the years he spent with the jazz-rock band Dreams, before striking out with his brother Michael to create their own, Grammy-winning band, The Brecker Brothers. “Some Skunk Funk” was one of their most successful tunes, and Brecker and company create a straight ahead rendition of the piece for Piano Jazz.
Composition also plays an important role for Brecker, though not in the academic sense. As he tells guest host Bill Charlap, “Some of the music is somewhat unusual harmonically because basically I was (writing) it by ear.” The band continues with “Moontide,” a modally-flavored original featuring blistering horn lines over a hypnotic rhythm pattern. To end the session, Charlap joins the band for an expansive exploration of the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein favorite, “All the Things You Are.”