Today we’re concluding our Off the Road series with jazz and session icon Randy Brecker of the legendary Brecker Brothers joining HPR All Things Considered Host Dave Lawrence, the latest guest in this series of interviews with musicians remotely sharing how they’ve been touched by the pandemic and other crises. Hear part one.
Randy Brecker, along with his late brother Michael, were the Brecker Brothers, performing as in-demand studio pros and international touring artists. Established as a unit and as solo performers, they were legendary for their precision arrangements and storied careers working with a wide range of performers, in concert and on their recordings. Randy’s resume is massive, and in this conversation some of his most celebrated gigs are discussed, based around experiences with performers like Frank Sinatra, Frank Zappa, Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones.
Prior to the pandemic, Randy had just finished work on Brecker Brothers Live and Unreleased, a 2CD set capturing the band live in 1980 on a European tour, and originally recorded for a radio program at the time. We learn about the album and that era of the band as part of our conversation.
In addition to exploring the album, over the course of an hour Randy shared how the pandemic has affected his career, and offered ways he’s been very personally touched by the Black Lives Matter movement, and related police reform crisis. He also shares his personal connection to two of the legendary performers who were lost to Covid-19, Ellis Marsalis and Manu Dibango, as well as discussing his own upbringing, the critical influence of his father and offering a tribute to his late brother Michael, who passed in 2007.
Today we also post the complete interview below, and like the second part of the radio interview feature, it includes Randy generously breaking out his trumpet to play a little for us.
Hear the complete interview with Randy: