Archive for August 13th, 2020

Randy Brecker and Eric Marienthal – Double Feature

What do you get when you pair two visionaries who happen to be kindred spirits? You get an ace in the hole! Multi Grammy award-winners trumpeter/flugelhornist Randy Brecker and saxophonist Eric Marienthal and deliver ten thrilling originals on their anticipated Shanachie Entertainment debut Double Dealin’ out September 11, 2020. It’s all aboveboard on Double Dealin’ as Brecker and Marienthal opt not to follow suit but rather let the spirit of the moment be their guide as they draw some wild cards and the blur boundaries between traditional and contemporary jazz. Randy Brecker, who was a key player in numerous ground-breaking fusion bands like Blood, Sweat and Tears and Larry Coryell’s The Eleventh House, states “Duke Ellington said ‘There are only two kinds of music, good and bad’ and we both love the latter!” Double Dealin’ marks Brecker and Marienthal’s first co-led recording. Danny Weiss, Shanachie Entertainment VP Of Jazz A&R says, “This album is a rarity – funky and brilliant at the same time. One plus one equals five with these two jazz giants.”

Brecker and Marienthal have built careers being musician’s musicians. Randy Brecker has remained at the forefront of creative music for over six decades collaborating with everyone from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Horace Silver, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, The Brecker Brothers (with his late tenor titan brother, Michael Brecker), Bruce Springsteen, Parliament/Funkadelic and Steely Dan. Saxophonist Eric Marienthal’s equally impressive career has allowed him to captivate audiences alongside everyone from Chick Corea’s Elektric Band, Patti Austin, Lee Ritenour, Elton John, Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder, among others. Longtime comrades on and off the stage, Marienthal and Brecker credit one thing for bringing them together. “Pizza” exclaims Brecker who won a Grammy this year for his album with the NDR Big Band. Laughing he adds, “We dig each other’s playing and personalities. We also like each other’s families. Eric and I have played together many times throughout the years with different ensembles including Jeff Lorber, The GRP Big Band and always ‘clicked’ as a section, so we were long overdue in doing a project together.” Marienthel adds, “Yes, definitely pizza! Besides being one of the world’s great musicians and trumpet players, Randy is a very open and cool guy. Getting to play with Randy is like getting to make a pizza with Mario Batali! You just know that no matter what you do it’s going to end up being great.”

Bringing Double Dealin’ to fruition was a bi-coastal affair as both musicians created from their own home based studios with Brecker in Long Island and Marienthal in Los Angeles. The duo sent files back and forth to one another and Brecker even admits that his attire for some of the session was PJs. “When the pandemic hit the mixing phase was about to begin,” recalls Marienthal who is the musical director of both the Blue Note At Sea Cruise and The Smooth Jazz Cruise. “I have to say it was a welcome distraction to deep dive into this music.” Double Dealin’ unites the dynamic duo with keyboardist and producer George Whitty, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Dave Weckl. “George Whitty is one of the very best musicians and record producers out there,” comments Marienthal. “Dave Weckl and John Patitucci are longtime bandmates of mine with the Chick Corea Elektric Band and good friends. Their playing on this record is exceptional and really put the icing on the cake!” Continue reading