Michael Brecker has been one of my main influences on the tenor saxophone since my first year of college in 1985. I was hanging out in someone one dorm room and they put on an album that totally blew me away. I believe it was the first Steps Ahead album. I had never heard it before and the sax player blew me away. I asked who it was and the person answered “Michael Brecker”. I remember they were astonished that I had never hear of Brecker. I was only an alto sax player up to that point in my life but soon after that I bought a tenor and started practicing to Michael Brecker albums. I bought everyone I could find at the local record store. I remember buying all the Steps Ahead stuff. A Mike Nock album, a Jony Mitchell album with Jacco on it and the first Michael Brecker album that he did. I had no idea what he was playing but I loved it. That was a long long time ago and I have done a lot of shedding since then. Enough to understand some of the lines and concepts that I couldn’t way back then.
In this lesson I talk about 6 Michael Brecker type lines that he would use on a minor chord. I have taken the lines from different solos of his and transposed them to the keys of D minor and E minor. Brecker had a playing style that was so hip. He would play these intense lines that would weave in and out of the tonality and really catch your attention. As I play through these lines with a backing track, I talk about how I think about the lines and the thought process I go through to try to learn from Brecker’s recordings. I show you what kind of things I do to figure out the thinking behind the lines and how I try to take that and then create my own lines. I play the examples from the D minor PDF on tenor sax. I hope this lesson will help you get a little bit closer to playing those Brecker type lines that were and are so hip. (27 minute video lesson with PDF)