RADIO: Tribute to Michael Brecker… And More
When acclaimed jazz tenor saxophonist and 11-time Grammy Award-winner Michael Brecker died of leukemia in January, 2007, Nippertown saxmaster Brian Patneaude knew that he had to pay tribute. So he teamed up with Bill McCann‘s “Saturday Morning Edition of Jazz” weekly radio show on WCDB (90.9 FM) to present a four-hour “Tribute to Michael Brecker.”
“He has been my main musical influence ever since the day I first heard him play as a freshman in high school,” says Patneaude. “As a matter of fact, if it weren’t for Michael Brecker and his music, I doubt I’d be doing what I’m doing with my life right now.”
Since that first broadcast, the Brecker tribute radio show has become an annual event. The 2014 edition can be heard from 8am-12noon on Saturday (March 29), and this year the show will take on an expanded scope, also paying tribute to the late pianist Don Grolnick, Brecker’s musical mentor and longtime collaborator. Joining Patneaude and McCann in the studio will be Grolnick’s widow, Saratoga jazz vocalist Jeanne O’Connor. Brecker’s widow Susan Brecker will also join the broadcast via phone interview on what would have been the saxophonist’s 65th birthday.
Two of my favorite musical evenings were with Michael Brecker in the late nineties. “The tales from the Hudson” show that featured in addition to Michael, Pat Metheny, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, and JoeyCalderazzo at The Troy Music Hall and a more intimate show at The Van Dyck a couple of years later. His music lives on.
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