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Straphangin'

The Brecker Brothers

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Album Review

The early '80s were a confusing time for many a jazz musician. The temptation to dabble in such waters as disco, funk, and rock was a risky proposition: pull it off and you were a genius, fail and you were the laughing stock of the industry. Falling somewhere in the large grey area between those two poles, the Brecker Brothers started the decade with Straphangin', a seven-song excursion into all sorts of fusion and AOR-like territories. No doubt taking sonic cues from Spyro Gyra and Steely Dan, the guys open the album with the mellow title track and the equally suggestive "Threesome" before stepping things up with the highly percussive "Bathsheba." "Why Can't I Be There" could easily find its way onto the playlist of a soft rock fan, but on the whole Straphangin' is a mixed blessing. Not the best album they ever put out, but certainly far from their worst.

Biography

Formed: 1974 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

In the '70s, brothers Michael and Randy Brecker co-led a band of New York session big shots that included, at various times, David Sanborn, Don Grolnick, Will Lee, and George Duke, among others. When they chose, the Brecker Brothers Band could be one of the most intelligent and creative fusion outfits. Chief composer/trumpeter Randy's best tunes were structurally unpredictable, melodically intricate, and harmonically complex, inside/out bop heads played in an impossibly precise manner over a bed...
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Straphangin', The Brecker Brothers
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