Playing a tribute to Brecker jazz

Vic Stevens, Carl Cox, Dave Hartl, Andy Lalasis and Bob Ferguson will play the music of the Brecker brothers at Chris' Jazz Cafe.  Credit: Paul Dempsey
Vic Stevens, Carl Cox, Dave Hartl, Andy Lalasis and Bob Ferguson will play the music of the Brecker brothers at Chris’ Jazz Cafe.
Credit: Paul Dempsey

For jazz musicians coming of age in the 1970s fusion era, Philadelphia-born brothers Michael and Randy Brecker were an ideal to look up to. “The Brecker brothers were on every recording imaginable, from Frank Zappa to Steely Dan to Aretha Franklin and Horace Silver,” says keyboardist Dave Hartl. “I think I saw Michael Brecker more than any other professional musician during the years that he was active because he played with everybody who was great. I remember seeing him with Joni Mitchell and Herbie Hancock, and when he took off on his own later in his career, he made some of the best jazz records of that decade.”

Hartl is now revisiting the brothers’ repertoire with Breckerville, a quintet founded to perform the Breckers’ music from the 1970s and early 1980s, including their solo work, the music of the Brecker Brothers band, and the group Steps Ahead which featured Michael on saxophone.

The band consists of four musicians who are all veterans of the 1980s Atlantic City circuit: Hartl, who has become the band’s arranger; drummer Vic Stevens, who also records the band at his Giant Steps Recording studio in Sicklerville; bassist Andy Lalasis; and trumpeter Bob Ferguson. They’re joined by saxophonist Carl Cox, a former student of Hartl’s at the University of the Arts.

The group came together at the behest of saxophonist Michael Pedicin Jr., who invited Ferguson to assemble a band for the annual summer concert series at the Ocean City Library. “I was just about to play with Bowzer from Sha Na Na at the Luzerne County Fair with Vic and Andy when Bob called and asked us if we wanted to do this,” Hartl recalls. “So we rehearsed for three hours and played the show, and it just smoked.”

Since Michael Brecker passed away in 2007 and Randy plays in a wide variety of different contexts, Hartl says that Breckerville is a rare opportunity for younger fans to hear the brothers’ music live. “I remember going up to Sweet Basil in New York and just being pasted to the wall, coming home and being high for two weeks just thinking about the music that I’d seen. That’s what we’re trying to recreate. I feel like jazz has taken a very safe route and we’re trying to reinvigorate it. We get up and go for the jugular from the first beat on. Smooth jazz is not what we’re doing.”

Breckerville
July 17, 8 p.m.
Chris’ Jazz Cafe
1421 Sansom St.
$10, 215-568-3131
www.chrisjazzcafe.com


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Judge holds Amber Hellesten for trial on murder…

Amber Hellesten turns 16 next Wednesday, April 30. It could be her first of many birthdays behind bars.

National

University of New Mexico running back arrested for…

By Joseph J. KolbALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) - A University of New Mexico football player has been arrested on suspicion of raping and kidnapping a…

National

Teen who stowed away on flight to Hawaii…

By Alex Dobuzinskis(Reuters) - A teenage boy who stowed away on a flight from California to Hawaii in the frozen, oxygen-deprived wheel well of a…

Money

Investing is easier than you think

Easy investing: Everything you need to know about investing, you already do.

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

The Word

What we learned from the premiere of 'True…

Does watching someone's marriage implode make for great TV? The show runners at "True Tori" think Tori Spelling's heartbreak is hot stuff indeed.

NHL

Lundqvist, Rangers take control as Flyers falter in…

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist turned away 31 Flyers shots to give the Blueshirts the series edge with a 4-1 victory Tuesday nigh

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

MLB

Metro one-on-one: Q&A with Phillies centerfielder Ben Revere

Charlie Manuel used to say that the Phillies go as Jimmy Rollins goes. Well, Ryne Sandberg might have a new Phillies catalyst, Ben Revere, in his midst.

NBA

Breaking down the Sixers top draft options

With the NBA Playoffs now in full force, there’s only one thing on the mind of Sixers fans at the moment -- the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery.

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.