Randy Brecker is essentially a fine hard bop trumpet soloist, but one versatile enough to fit into nearly any setting, including pop and funk bands, and jazz fusion. He studied classical trumpet and attended Indiana University. Brecker was with Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1967, and spent 1968-1969 playing with Horace Silver's quintet. He also appeared with the big bands of Clark Terry, Duke Pearson, Frank Foster, and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. After playing with the early fusion group Dreams in 1969, he worked with Larry Coryell's Eleventh House and Billy Cobham, in addition to keeping very busy with studio work. He teamed up with his brother, the late Michael Brecker (1949-2007), in the popular funk-oriented Brecker Brothers (1974-1979); in the '80s he often collaborated with his wife, pianist/vocalist Eliane Elias; and in the '90s he toured with the reunited Brecker Brothers.
But Randy Brecker still sounds best when in a freewheeling bebop combo, and fortunately he occasionally records in that type of spontaneous setting. As a solo artist, Brecker has released numerous outstanding albums, including his 1969 debut Score, 1987's In the Idiom with saxophonist Joe Henderson and bassist Ron Carter, 1995's contemporary and Brazilian jazz-infused Into the Sun, 2003's ode to Manhattan 34th N Lex, and 2008's Randy in Brasil. In 2011, Brecker was featured with the DR Big Band and the Danish National Chamber Orchestra on the album The Jazz Ballad Songbook. Also that year, Brecker appeared on saxophonist Richard Cole's Inner Mission album. In 2013, Brecker released The Brecker Brothers Band Reunion, which featured various players who performed with the Brecker Brothers over the years. Two years later, he delivered, RandyPOP!, a concert album showcasing reworked versions of pop songs Brecker had originally appeared throughout his career, including cuts by Donald Fagen, Todd Rundgren, Paul Simon, and more. ~ Scott Yanow