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The Complete Arista Albums Collection Box set

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, August 28, 2012
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$44.99 $61.60
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Editorial Reviews

The Brecker Brothers -- Michael and Randy -- were one of the most successful of the jazz/fusion groups that arose in the 1970s, recording 6 best-selling albums for Arista between 1975 and 1981. Musicians on the records make a jazz/fusion hall of fame including David Sanborn, Steve Gadd, Will Lee, Harvey Mason, Marcus Miller, George Duke, and many more. In 1979 they also participated in all-star shows at the Montreux Jazz Festival. The band was Steve Khan, Tony Levin, Mike Mainieri and Steve Jordan. These two albums are included here as bonuses. None of these albums have ever been released on CD in the U.S.
Randy Brecker contributes liner notes to the set which also includes full discographical info. and rare photos.
The Brecker Bros. have reunited as The Brecker Brothers Reunion Band-- with excellent Italian saxophonist Ada Rovatti keeping it in the family (she is Randy s wife) and ably filling the late Michael's role -- for an all-new studio recording of new material, featuring David Sanborn, Mike Stern, Dave Weckl, and Will Lee (to be released in September).
A new Brecker Bros. Reunion live DVD from the Blue Note jazz club will also be released. Both new releases are on Half Note Records, the label of The Blue Note Jazz club in New York, which will sponsor a record release show the week of Sept. 11-18 in New York. The band will be playing major jazz festivals in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Randy s own profile at the moment is very high. He received 3 Grammy nominations this year.

Trumpeter Randy Brecker and saxophonist Michael Brecker had already shared the bandstand and logged plenty of studio time together before they formed The Brecker Brothers. The siblings stood as a team with Horace Silver s hard bop ensemble, the proto-fusion unit Dreams, and Billy Cobham's early Crosswinds band, as well as on myriad studio dates for a panoply of artists from James Taylor to Parliament.

By 1975 it was time for them to make their own mark. Gathering together some of the cream of the studio players that they were spending considerable time with, including saxophonist David Sanborn and bassist Will Lee, the brothers formed a tight combo that would integrate their taste for jazz, fusion, R&B, funk and pop. Right out of the box, they garnered a hit single, "Sneakin' Up Behind You," from their debut recording, Brecker Brothers, which also included the emblematic "Some Skunk Funk."

Subsequent albums saw name players like guitarists Steve Khan and Hiram Bullock, keyboardist George Duke, bassist Marcus Miller and vocalist Luther Vandross making vital contributions. No matter how commercially oriented the music might veer, the solid playing of both Randy and Michael could be heard. On such albums as the live recordings, Heavy Metal Bebop and the special project Blue Montreux, the brothers fully displayed their extraordinary technical skills and gutsy phrasing. Combining jazz chops and R&B seasoning, both of the Breckers became important stylistic influences on their respective horns.

In retrospect, the Brecker Brothers can be seen as dashing heroes, unafraid to follow wherever their muse lead them no matter what straight-laced critics objected to. From today's eclectic viewpoint, their up front blend of jazz and outright pop sounds was not only ahead of the curve, it was right up to the minute.

CD's Included in Box Set:
1) The Brecker Brothers (Arista 1975)
2) Back To Back (Arista 1976)
3) Don't Stop The Music (Arista 1977)
4) Heavy Metal Be-Bop (Arista 1978)
5) Detente (Arista 1980)
6) Straphangin' (Arista 1981)
7) Blue Montreux (Arista 1979)
8) Blue Montreux II (Arista 1979)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Skunk Funk
  2. Sponge
  3. A Creature Of Many Faces
  4. Twilight
  5. Sneakin' Up Behind You
  6. Rocks
  7. Levitate
  8. Oh My Stars
  9. D.B.B.

Disc: 2

  1. Keep It Steady (Brecker Bump)
  2. If You Wanna Boogie...Forget It
  3. Lovely Lady
  4. Night Flight
  5. Slick Stuff
  6. Dig A Little Deeper
  7. Grease Piece
  8. What Can A Miracle Do
  9. I Love Wastin' Time With You

Disc: 3

  1. Finger Lickin' Good
  2. Funky Sea, Funky Dew
  3. As Long As ''ve Got Your Love
  4. Squids
  5. Don't Stop The Music
  6. Petals
  7. Tabula Rasa

Disc: 4

  1. East River
  2. Inside Out (Live)
  3. Some Skunk Funk (Live)
  4. Sponge (Live Version)
  5. Funky Sea, Funky Dew (Live Version)
  6. Squids (Live Version)

Disc: 5

  1. You Ga (Ta Give It)
  2. Not Tonight
  3. Don't Get Funny With My Money
  4. Tee'd Off
  5. You Left Something Behind
  6. Squish
  7. Dream Theme
  8. Baffled
  9. I Don't Know Either

Disc: 6

  1. Straphangin'
  2. Threesome
  3. Bathsheba
  4. Jacknife
  5. Why Can't I Be There
  6. Not Ethiopia
  7. Spreadeagle

Disc: 7

  1. Blue Montreux
  2. Rocks
  3. I'm Sorry
  4. Magic Carpet
  5. Buds
  6. Floating
  7. The Virgin And The Gypsy

Disc: 8

  1. Funky Waltz
  2. Candles
  3. Uptown Ed
  4. Love Play
  5. Cloud Motion

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 28, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 8
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Legacy
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,082 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This 8 cd box set was a collection I have always hoped would be released.The Brecker Brothers have always been favorites of mine and this set captures the history of the brothers musically. It was during this period that Michael Brecker really grew and developed his style. Any fan of funky jazz and rock influenced jazz will love this release. The last 2 discs of the collection are of live recordings at Montreux Jazz festival in 1978 and I love the collaboration of the Breckers with Mike Maineri, Eddie Gomez and Larry Corryl. The Collection features so many great players in modern jazz from an early standpoint, Will Lee and David Sanborn and many others. This collection is truly a piece of modern jazz history. So thankful that Randy Brecker put this collection together. I love listening to these albums. It brings back so many memories and musically much of the tracks are still fresh today (especially on the album "Detente"). The loss of Michael Brecker a few years ago, definitely left a huge hole in the jazz world. This collection definitely helps to to remember one of the greatest tenor players ever.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Superb collection of the Brecker Brothers' recordings on the Arista label. I've owned these albums for years on vinyl and was very pleased to see that they were finally available as a CD box set. The set is packaged with replica of the original albums covers and includes a booklet with detailed album information and additional photos from the period that weren't available on the original artwork. If you are a fan of Randy and his late brother Michael's excellent work from the '70s & '80s, this is a must add to your music collection.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is my first real introduction to The Brecker Bros. I had heard them before as guest performers on other artist's albums but not their own stand alone album. I really enjoyed the liveliness of the performances and ultra funky jams of the 70s. This a really a fun collection of music for any gloomy day though the later albums do get a little cheesy. I was also impressed by the packaging which I think is a little above average from what I'm used too. I like how it actually comes with a booklet with a note from Randy Brecker and detailed credits about each CD with plenty of photos. Also each CD comes in a mini lp style jacket that is a little thicker than what I'm used to. Thick enough to have a spine with the title of each album written on them.

I am though a little disappointed in the inconsistency of the sound quality of each album, namely the volume levels. Some comes across as sounding pleasant with good dynamics like "The Brecker Bros", "Heavy Metal Be-Bop" , and "Detente" and others try to smack you in the face with an irritating wall of noise. "Don't Stop The Music" is the most offensive to me because its a well composed and performed album and would be one of my favorites of the 8 albums , but every instrument comes out of the speakers as if they're screaming at you! I barley survived the final track "Tabula Rasa", i was seriously thinking about turning it off mid way through. Instead I turned the volume on my stereo down, but by then I was a bit irritated and no longer in the mood to listen to more.
So to sum it up, basically this is a good quality box set, with some great music, but it is blemished by poor and inconsistent mastering to CD.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If your into the Brecker Brothers you must get this box set. All their albums in one collection! Great sound and booklet. Randy, Michael,
David Sanborn, Will Lee, Don Grolnick, Steve Khan, Lenny White, George Duke, David Spinozza, Hiram Bullock. Jazz/rock/funk fusion at it's finest.
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