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Pilgrimage
     

Pilgrimage

by Michael Brecker
 
Given the heartbreaking context in which this album was released -- this was the final recording by saxophonist Michael Brecker, who died of myelodysplastic syndrome and leukemia only a few months before its release -- there might be a certain temptation to cut it some slack for sentimental reasons. However, leniency is hardly needed. Leading a group comprised of

Overview

Given the heartbreaking context in which this album was released -- this was the final recording by saxophonist Michael Brecker, who died of myelodysplastic syndrome and leukemia only a few months before its release -- there might be a certain temptation to cut it some slack for sentimental reasons. However, leniency is hardly needed. Leading a group comprised of jaw-dropping talents (pianists Herbie Hancock and Brad Mehldau, guitarist Pat Metheny, bassist John Patitucci, drummer Jack DeJohnette) and playing for the first time a program consisting entirely of original compositions, Brecker delivers an emotionally rich and startlingly powerful album of straight-ahead modern jazz that will stand as his musical epitaph and will effectively confound anyone who has ever been tempted to dismiss him as a mere jazz-pop fusioneer. It will also frustrate anyone looking for maudlin emotion or even any obvious product of existential angst; the only concession to sentiment here is on the title of a ballad, "When Can I Kiss You Again?," a quote from Brecker's teenage son during a period in his treatment when his family was not allowed to touch him. But even that track, with its unusual chord progression and sometimes rather arid solos, retains a core of tough-mindedness within the tenderness. Most of the rest of the program consists of uptempo and medium-tempo burners that swing with a powerful sense of urgency and life, and precious little foreshadowing of the tragedy that all involved knew was soon to come. This is a brilliant and inspiring album -- and would be whether or not it had anything to do with the death of one of the great figures in American jazz. This CD was nominated in 2007 for a Grammy award as Best Jazz Instrumental Album (Individual or Group), and Brecker's improvisation on "Anagram" was nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/22/2007
Label:
Heads Up
UPC:
0053361309527
catalogNumber:
3095

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Michael Brecker   Primary Artist,Tenor Saxophone,EWI
Jack DeJohnette   Drums
Herbie Hancock   Piano
Pat Metheny   Guitar
John Patitucci   Bass
Brad Mehldau   Piano

Technical Credits

Michael Brecker   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Gil Goldstein   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production
Pat Metheny   Producer,Audio Production
Joe Ferla   Engineer
Steve Rodby   Producer,Audio Production
Darryl Pitt   Executive Producer
Carolyn Chrzan   Guitar Techician
Susan Brecker   Art Direction
Indhira Rojas   Graphic Design,Art Direction,Cover Art

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