The group reformed again in 1991 for The Return of the Brecker Brothers (GRP, 1992), when the brothers Brecker returned to a far more electrified kind of energy, largely as an alternative to both players' more frequent work in acoustic environs in the years in between. But if Straphangin' were to actually be the group's last record, The Brecker Brothers would have gone out on a high note.
The Brecker Brothers broke up after a string of six records on ex-Columbia mogul Clive Davis' fledgling Arista Records between 1975 and 1981, with Michael going onto a particularly successful solo career, but Randy and Michael reunited The Brecker Brothers again in the early 1990s for two fine albums—The Return of the Brecker Brothers (GRP, 1992) and Out of the Loop (GRP, 1994)—plus a couple of tours with a largely revamped lineup. Furthermore, Randy may have been the titular head of 2006's Some Skunk Funk (Telarc, 2006), a collaboration with Germany's WDR Big Band and orchestrator/arranger Vince Mendoza, but with Will Lee on bass, Peter Erskine on drums, Jim Beard on keys and Michael given second billing beneath his brother, it was essentially another Brecker Brothers reunion—and, tragically, the last one there'd ever be with both brothers, as Michael succumbed to a fatal blood disorder in January 2007, just two months shy of his 57th birthday.
01. Song For Barry
02. King Of The Lobby
03. Big Idea
04. Above & Below
05. That's All There Is To It
06. Wakaria (What's Up?)
07. On The Backside
08. Sozinho (Alone)
10. Good Gracious
The Brecker Brothers was the musical duo of Michael (saxophone, flute, and EWI) and Randy Brecker (trumpet, flugelhorn), who recorded commercially successful jazz fusion albums together in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. They had a notable hit single with "East River" in 1979. It reached #34 in the UK Singles Chart.
Older brother Randy first became famous as an original member of the group Blood, Sweat & Tears. He appeared on their debut album Child Is Father to the Man in 1968. In addition to recording their own compositions, the brothers frequently played together as session musicians on albums by many other artists. They were heard on Todd Rundgren's hit Hello It's Me which reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1972. Other notable appearances include Parliament's Mothership Connection and the debut album of the Japanese fusion group Casiopea. The brothers were touring as members of Frank Zappa's band in the late 1970s and appeared on the 1977 album Zappa in New York. Both brothers also had prolific recording careers as leaders of their own ensembles.
Their collaborations came to an end in 2007, when Michael Brecker died from leukemia.