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Michael Brecker Quintet

- Jazz and Cabaret Performance Reviews

Michael Brecker Quintet
At Birdland
315 West 44th Street, NYC
Gianni Valenti, Owner
Andy Kaufman, Business Manager
Tarik Osman, Manager
See Other Birdland Reviews 2

Michael Brecker on Saxophone
Adam Rogers on Guitar
Chris Minh Doky on Bass
Joey Calderazzo on Piano
Jeff “Tain” Watts on Drums

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 17, 2004

Tonight’s second set at Birdland was fireworks to music. Michael’s Brecker on saxophone and his progressive band of Adam Rogers on guitar, Chris Minh Doky on bass, Joey Calderazzo on piano, and Jeff “Tain” Watts on drums were tantalizing and titanic. Brecker plays a clear, strong, creative sax, with a vibrant backup by Watts on percussion. There were wild mood swings in the first piece, meandering from momentous to melancholy. Rogers’ electric guitar bounced the high notes like bubbles, and the crashing cymbals were sensational. Calderazzo’s piano presented rippling effects that blended with soft brushes and percussive flourishes, along with steady bass. There were melodic interludes, followed by bluesy blendings. The repetitive themes built in volume and velocity.

Trapping a rapid rhythm, Rogers, on guitar, carried the initial theme in the second piece. He raced this scampering, sizzling sound over the background of bass, piano, and powerful percussion. When Calderazzo took over this theme, with driven, dissonant, keyboard elements, there was a contagious cacophony of sound, enhanced by drums gone wild. Brecker’s screeching, wailing sax ended the piece on a dime. In the third piece, Rogers, on guitar, played a melancholy solo that pleasantly blended into a duet with Brecker. Passages taken from The Nearness of You were welcome interludes. Calderazzo mastered this mood on soft keyboard. Solo, to duet, to quintet developed into a ballad with deep blasts, melting into smooth and creative passages that softly dissolved.

The next piece, led by Rogers on guitar, was picked up on piano with complimentary sound and nice, steady backup, along with an endless sax solo, strongly fused with the band. Minh Doky finally had his solo, and the full band followed to complete this piece. The finale was composed by Watts, and his drums carried the theme in a conversation with Brecker on sax. They had a fused duet, merged with musical motion, followed by Calderazzo’s piano solo that rocked with rhythm. The Birdland audience was quite appreciative of Michael Brecker and his Quintet.

Michael Brecker on Saxophone
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Adam Rogers on Guitar
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Jeff "Tain" Watts on Drums
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Jeff "Tain" Watts on Drums and Chris Minh Doky on Bass
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Joey Calderazzo, Pianist, at Leisure
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Todd McDermott, WCBS TV, Erica, Tarik
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at