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RANDY BRECKER has been shaping the sound of jazz, R&B, and rock for more than three decades. His trumpet and flugelhorn performances have graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Chaka Khan, and George Benson, to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, David Sanborn, Horace Silver, Jaco Pastorius, and Frank Zappa.
Brecker's history is as varied as it is distinguished. Born in 1945 in Philadelphia to a piano-playing father, he spent summers in stage-band camps, where he got his earliest experience in ensemble playing. He began playing R&B and funk in local bar bands while in his teens, but at the same time he had an ear for hard bop.
In 1966, he moved to New York City where some of his first gigs were with Clark Terry's Big Band, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, and the Duke Pearson Big Band. Brecker also began his foray into jazz-rock by joining Blood, Sweat and Tears. Brecker left BSandT to join the Horace Silver Quintet, then joined forces with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers before teaming up with brother Michael, Barry Rogers, Billy Cobham, and John Abercrombie to form the seminal fusion group, Dreams.
In 1972, Brecker was back with Horace Silver, teaming up with brother Michael as the front line in Horace's quintet. By now, the two horn players had become two of the most in-demand studio musicians of the day. After recording the now classic In Pursuit of the 27th Man (Blue Note) with Horace, Randy left to join another new influential jazz-rock group led by old friend Larry Coryell. In '74, the brothers joined Billy Cobham's group, Spectrum, with whom they recorded several albums, and by 1975 they were ready to front their own band.
The Brecker Brothers were to become a band of immeasurable influence and impact until they parted in 1982. In 1992, exactly ten years after they had disbanded, Randy and Michael joined forces again in a much-heralded reunion featuring a world tour and the triple-Grammy-nominated GRP recording, The Return of the Brecker Brothers.
In the fall of 1994, they released the double-Grammy-winning Out of the Loop, with tours that followed throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. In 1996, drawn to and inspired by the music of Brazil since his first visit there in 1979, Brecker offered up his impression of Brazilian music on Into the Sun. Released first in Japan on Pony Canyon, it became available on Concord Records throughout the rest of the world, and won Brecker his first Grammy as a soloist in 1998 for "Best Contemporary Jazz Performance."