Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Michael Brecker needs your help



One of the highlights of my journalistic career was interviewing the great saxophonist Michael Brecker in his hotel room in Singapore in the early '90s when he was touring with Paul Simon.

A gracious and humble human being who took time out from his hectic schedule to grant a one-on-one with a nonentity like me, he offered an invaluable lesson in living for the sheer joy of playing music.

He had plenty to talk about (the interview lasted more than an hour), having done sessions with a virtual who's who in pop, rock and jazz (James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan et al) since the early '70s. He even shared an inside story about how shocked he was to discover that his solo on a Michael Bolton song was quietly replaced with one by Kenny G just because the latter's image was hipper... not because he was better or more qualified to land the gig!

Needless to say, it's an interview session I shall treasure all my life.

It's now sad to hear that this brilliant musician, whose albums 'Michael Brecker' (MCA/1987) and 'Don't Try This At Home' (MCA/1988) have given me countless hours of pleasure, is gravely ill.

He has been diagnosed with the blood disorder Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and is in immediate need of a stem cell transplant.

Those of us touched by his generosity of spirit and the joyous energy of his music pray for his speedy recovery. (first posted Fri. Sep. 02, 2005 2:46 pm)

Message from Michael's wife Susan

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