Next to John Coltrane, Michael Brecker was unquestionably the most influential tenor player in the history of jazz. As a result of his stylistic and harmonic innovations, he is the most studied contemporary jazz musician in music schools throughout the world today. He is also a 13-time Grammy winner. Following a two-and-a-half-year battle with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and leukemia, Brecker passed away on January 13, 2007. While in the midst of his debilitating illness, however, Brecker persevered. His work in the studio at the time of his death includes some of the finest music he has ever recorded.
Pilgrimage chronicles Brecker’s final journey one in which the music itself served as a sustaining force. Those present in the studio recall moments when the rigors of recording were so physically taxing nearly to the point of collapse for the leader whose health was compromised. In the end, it was Brecker’s sheer will, and a dedication to completing the recording, that pushed him, his colleagues, and the project as a whole across the finish line. As is often the case, the adversity working against the creator only makes the creation that much stronger and richer and all the more sublime. Every one of the nine tracks composed by Brecker on Pilgrimage is a portrait of an artist at the peak of his creative powers. The album is the first in Brecker’s stellar discography which consists solely of his original compositions.
Each tune is compelling in this 75-minute set, and there are moments within each that are absolutely transcendent. Pilgrimage is a singular phenomenon in the annals of recorded music. It’s a consummate creative statement with a vision that speaks to us from a place we cant comprehend. It ¡s an invitation to take the spiritual journey of an artist whose legacy will outlast us all. ~Editorial Review | Amazon
Original Release Date: March 27, 2007
At your leisure, check out “PILGRIMAGE” by Michael Brecker