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Score by Randy Brecker

Score shows just how talented and prodigious the Brecker brothers were at the time of this 1968 release (with Michael just 19!). The set opens with "Bangalore," a composition that seems like it could have come out of the Miles Davis/Wayne Shorter Quintet songbook. The same could be said about "The Name Game." Galper must have had Ron Carter’s "Eighty-one" in mind when he wrote this one. Randy sounds very Freddie Hubbard while establishing his own voice.

The title track is a funker from the pen of Galper that bears the influence of one of Randy’s employers at the time, Blood, Sweat and Tears. Michael takes a King Curtis-with-jazz-chops solo and Rainey and Purdie laying down a groove. Rainey stumbles surprisingly on some parts of the tune, but you hardly notice with the brothers’ flamboyant solos. Coryell rocks out with some Gabor Szabo-meets-Melvin Sparks lines.

The rhythm section lays out for "The Weasel Goes to Lunch," in which Randy and Michael peck extemporaneously at "Pop Goes the Weasel." "Morning Song" follows, and is a nice bossa groove with some 60s jazz kicks and harmonies. Randy demonstrates his mastery of motivic development on this tune and "Pipe Dream." The band funks out once again with "The Vamp," a nod to the Isley Brothers’ "It’s Your Thing." "The Marble Sea" is a Randy Brecker bossa that highlights his lyricism.

The album can rightly be called one of the first fusion albums even with its straight-ahead tracks. Randy and producer Duke Pearson took jazz, funk, rock, and Latin, stirred them tastefully and imaginatively, and poured out "Score" for our pleasure.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Randy Brecker
  • CD Title: Score
  • Genre: Fusion
  • Year Released: 1968
  • Reissue Original Release: 2002
  • Record Label: Koch Jazz
  • Tracks: Bangalore, Score, Name Game, The Weasel Goes Out to Lunch, Morning Song, Pipe Dream, The Vamp, The Marble Sea
  • Musicians: Randy Brecker – tr, Michael Brecker – ts, Jerry Dodgion – alto fl, Larry Coryell – g, Hal Galper – p, el p, Eddie Gomez – b, Chuck Rainey – el b, Mickey Roker – d Bernard Purdie – d
  • Rating: Four Stars
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