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Score (1969)

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Randy Brecker

Randy Brecker's debut album features the trumpeter leading two distinct all-star small groups, each with younger brother Michael (who was only 19 when this was recorded) on tenor sax, Larry Coryell on guitar, and Hal Galper on piano. The tunes alternate between jazz-rock (a style the Brecker Brothers were later to successfully exploit) and modern mainstream jazz. There are the customary fades, popular at the time, and a light, though constant, beat throughout that makes the music both accessible and even danceable, an impressive feat considering that virtually all the tunes are originals. the Brecker Brothers exhibit a command of their horns and a maturity that was to serve them well for many years. The recording has weathered the years well, in part because even the fusion pieces never lose their focus, nor do they compromise artistry for popular fads. "The Weasel Goes Out to Lunch" is a cute, though very short, take on the childhood theme, with the remaining tracks fine examples of late-'60s popular jazz. With well-constructed arrangements, strong soloing, and catchy melodies, Brecker knew he was onto something, and this album was the first of several successful ventures. ~ Steven Loewy