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Two Blocks from the Edge

Michael Brecker Quartet

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Album Review

Although Michael Brecker made his initial reputation as a greatly in-demand studio player able to play quite credibly in commercial settings, his recordings for Impulse! have all been strictly straight-ahead. Displaying his roots in John Coltrane and Ernie Watts, Brecker has developed his own approach to sheets-of-sound playing while not being shy about playing quite lyrically. From the opening medium-tempo blues "Madame Toulouse" and the catchy "Bye George" (which could almost have been written by Horace Silver) to the funky and slyly humorous closer, "Delta City Blues," this is a particularly strong outing. With pianist Joey Calderazzo (often emulating McCoy Tyner to at least a small degree) and an alert and intuitive rhythm section (bassist James Genus, drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts, and percussionist Don Alias), Brecker often creates fiery solos that linger to their optimum length before the mood changes. Recommended.

Two Blocks from the Edge, Michael Brecker Quartet
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