Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Michael Brecker, Claus Ogerman|
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Classical
Featuring Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez, Marcus Miller, etc. — Composer/Arranger Claus Ogerman has contributed arrangements to classic recordings by a diverse list of artists, from Barbra Streisand to Stan Getz to Frank Sinatra t... more »
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Featuring Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez, Marcus Miller, etc.
Composer/Arranger Claus Ogerman has contributed arrangements to classic recordings by a diverse list of artists, from Barbra Streisand to Stan Getz to Frank Sinatra to Bill Evans to George Benson. His modern classical approach often added an eerie Eastern-European vibe to these projects, and his orchestral works have been recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra and others.
Although tenor sax giant Michael Brecker had contributed to literally hundreds of important recordings by other artists and had recorded several albums as a member of the Brecker Brothers and Steps Ahead, he didn't make his first recording as a leader until 1986, at age 37. However, in 1982 he teamed up with Ogerman to make Cityscape, a landmark recording that stands as an absolute highlight of his career.
A virtual Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra with jazz rhythm section, Cityscape features some of the most astounding and sensitive playing of Brecker's storied career. Sadly, Michael succumbed to Leukemia in January of 2008, and the music world lost one of the most influential musicians of his generation. It is a great pleasure for Mosaic Contemporary to make this masterpiece available once again.
Olukayode Balogun | Leeds, England | 04/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"German-born composer, arranger and orchestrator Claus Ogerman first came to my attention via the stunning work he did with people like George Benson, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Frank Sinatra, Diana Krall and Oscar Peterson. I've always been a sucker for strings and I think the man is simply awesome. At the same time, to me, Michael Brecker is simply one of the best tenor saxophonists that ever lived.
When I came across this on Amazon a few years ago and saw that it not only featured both of the above named but also people like Marcus Miller, Eddie Gomez and Steve Gadd, I didn't even bother to listen to soundclips. I just ordered it.
The stuff on here is transcendent. The title track alone is like the soundtrack to a pleasant afternoon nap but it's when "Habanera" begins that one begins to realise the full richness of the musical tapestry on offer here. Gadd, with an assured backbeat, particularly shines on this one, as does Miller, as always.
Another standout track is "Nightwings" and Warren Bernhardt performs a stunning solo on the keys.
"In The Presence And Absence of Each Other (Part 1)" is another favourite with an easy-to-hum-along-to refrain, with great drum patterns from Gadd and cool bass lines from Miller. Guitarist Buzz Feiten (who my good buddy André has just been telling me to watch out for) plays on the track but he doesn't get a solo and you have to really listen out to hear him, which is a bit of a shame. I also couldn't find any details of the orchestration personnel on the inner-sleeve notes, which I found slightly disappointing.
Gutarist John Tropea and percussionist Paulinho Da Costa also play on the album.
All compositions are by Ogerman and are the relaxing kind of fare that's ideal for soothing nerves that might be frayed by the stresses of everyday modern living. The album is produced by the legendary Tommy LiPuma and recorded by Al Schmitt. It's a sonic and musical delight and Brecker is incredibly expressive here. Sax and strings don't tend to work together very well as a rule but these two make it work. If you ever wanted to hear a saxophone weep (with both sadness and joy), check this one out. I think any Michael Brecker fan will appreciate this but they must be also big fan of orchestration, I think.
But if you do like it, or already own it, you may want to also consider Vince Mendoza's 1997 CD Epiphany, which features John Abercrombie, Michael Brecker, Peter Erskine, Marc Johnson, Joe Lovano, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler and the London Symphony Orchestra. It has a very similar vibe, though slightly more exuberant in places, and although not many people have reviewed it here on Amazon (I haven't reviewed it myself either), it's one of my favourite albums ever. Go figure."
A Unsworth | MANCHESTER UK | 01/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ONE OF THE MOST EXQUISITE, AESTHETIC PIECES, EVER WRITTEN AND PREFORMED. BRECKERS` PLAYING IS SO EMOTIONAL. OGERMANS CHORDS ARE SO DARK DEEP AND INVITING."
Shrik Pattni | Perth, Australia | 10/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hearing a truly gifted musician at their pinnacle is almost a spiritual experiance. This album, and particularly the track 'In the presence and absence of each other Part 1' defines the epitomy of musical acheivment in my eyes.
Brecker's reputation as the premier saxophonist of his time was forged on this album. Although I could go on for paragraphs justifying this statement, I'll let the music speak for itself. Lifting with emotion, montaged with endless creativity, and raising the bar on technique this album is clearly the work of two exceptional artists at their mesmerising best.
I have no more words, for I am still after years in awe of this beautiful, moving creation....."