FAME Review: Randy Brecker w/the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble - Dearborn Station
Randy Brecker w/the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble - Dearborn Station

Dearborn Station

Randy Brecker
w/the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble

Jazzed Media - JM1070

Available from Jazzed Media.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Dearborn Station, featuring one of the grandest old men of modern trumpet, Randy Brecker, teamed with the noted DePaul University jazz swing band, and both arrived at what's actually a swing fusion CD, something Gil Evans would be sitting front seat for, were he not already pre-occupied, jammin' with Jimi in the Crab Nebula. Ah well, there's always the Euro guyz, too, as they have a strong devotion to this ilk of peppery sass and speedy jump. Brecker's well accompanied and contrasted by a host of excellent sax players as well, five in fact, all of whom blow well beyond their young years. In a time of ever-increasing interest in The Great American Songbook, big band, slinky lounge, and other jazz forms, this disc deamnds shelf space.

Listen to how the boys turn around Green Dolphin Street, kick the funk into it, tweak the horns into a traffic jam, encourage all and sundry to fine out the chaos, and you get an idea as to what's allowed: just about everything. This recurs time and again. The point is to get the paying dogs in and barking, which they're more than happy to do, much appreciation well evidenced in the live happening. There are indeed ballads, Infant Eyes for instance, but the emphasis is clearly on chops 'n charts, as with the ceaselessly wave-crashing multi-meters and polyrhythms in the intro section to It's You or No One. Did I say the music houndz was barkin'? Well, on this one, they're baying and howling. Can't blame 'em, either, as so was I, right there in my living room

Tina's Glass Nickel is a blend of rag, Waits (back when Christlieb & Co. were playing with him), Robert Kraft, Gershwin, and New Orleans parade music while Blues in Hoss' Flat (wotta title!) is a stage rave, the kind of song that would've made it to The Music Man had Meredith Wilson been tokin' reefer (and I'm not so sure Robt. Preston hadn't: ya can't be that damned good without some kind of outside inspiration). Brecker bows out and Marques Carroll tips in a great muted trumpet solo, Scott Williams' keyboards taking up right after. Lots of participants get a chance to dust their knuckles throughout the gig, that's what this kind of free-for-all workshop concert is all about, with Brecker as the centerpole, so if Santa didn't bring you any of the CDs he shoulda a month ago, now's your chance to repair the deficit.

Track List:

  • Squids (Randy Brecker)
  • Well, You Needn't (Thelonius Monk)
  • On Green Dolphin Street (Kaper / Washington)
  • You're in My Heart (Randy Brecker)
  • Infant Eyes (Wayne Shorter)
  • It's You or No One (Cahn / Styne)
  • Cathy's Song (Bob Lark)
  • Tina's Glass Nickel (Richie Palys)
  • Blues in Hoss' Flat (Frank Foster)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2015, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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