Jazz saxophonist Michael Brecker, Jan. 13 Michael Brecker, the jazz saxophonist who won 11 Grammy Awards and was considered by many the most influential tenor player of his generation, died Saturday, Jan. 13, 2007, in New York City. He was 57. Influenced by John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter, Brecker transformed what he had learned from the two jazz icons, added his fascination with the timbres of rock music (and rock guitar), and enhanced it with that most intimate of jazz elements, a unique, immediately recognizable sound. The combination was pure magic for young players eager to approach jazz from a perspective reflecting their time and their generation. Like many jazz artists, Brecker was an active studio musician. But the scale of his appearances as a sideman was remarkable -- more than 900 recordings with artists ranging from Frank Sinatra, James Brown and Simon & Garfunkel to Frank Zappa, Laura Nyro, Funkadelic and James Taylor.
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