I just heard that one of my musical idols and a huge influence on my playing passed away a few days ago. Michael Brecker, who set the bar in so many areas, will be missed by saxophonists and jazzers around the world. I have followed Brecker since my teenage years, and his playing influenced almost every modern day saxophonist. His style developed from the funky sounds of the Brecker Brothers and Steps Ahead to the straight ahead playing on his early solo albums to the "Breckerish" sound in recent years that was so evident to any listener.
Michael Brecker was only 57, but battled MDS and leukemia for the past two and half years. More information on how you can help others battle this deadly disease is available on his website which is still active today.
For all of us who were influenced by Brecker's music...I bid him a very sad but fond farewell.