Personnel: Michael Brecker (tenor saxophone); Alex "Sasha" Sipiagin (trumpet); Peter Gordon (French horn); Robin Eubanks (trombone); Steve Wilson (flute, alto flute); Iain Dixon (clarinet, bass clarinet); Charles Pillow (oboe); Joyce Hammann (violin); Lois Martin (viola); Erik Friedlander (cello); Adam Rogers (guitar); John Patitucci (bass); Antonio Sanchez (drums); Daniel Sadownick (percussion).
Recorded at Bennett Studios, Englewood, New Jersey in January 2003.
WIDE ANGLES won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. "Broadband" was nominated for Best Instrumental Composition. "Timbuktu" won for Best Instrumental Arrangement.
Tenor sax legend Michael Brecker is justifiably showcased on this sophisticated, large ensemble release. Brecker's playing is supremely focused here, moving from tender lyricism ("Angle of Repose") to Coltrane-esque runs to the outer registers ("Cool Day In Hell"), and touching on everything in between. Like his range on the sax, Brecker's compositions veer from the coolly cerebral to dramatic intensity. "Timbuktu" appropriates a skewed Latin boogie to anchor its cyclical melodic leads, which Brecker expands and reassembles in his solos. The in-pocket jazz-funk of "Night Jessamine" rubs against the rhythmic kaleidoscope of "Brexterity" and the floating pulse of "Evening Faces."
WIDE ANGLES is heavily textured via French horn, alto flute, bass clarinet, oboe, viola, cello and English horn, in addition to standard jazz instrumentation. The 14-piece ensemble lends color and dimension to what might otherwise be standard post-bop fare, creating orchestral overtones one moment, chamber music intimacies the next. The album should appeal then both to Brecker enthusiasts and to fans of large ensemble playing.
What the critics say...
Q (12/03, pp.132-3) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...This is one of the boldest albums of Brecker's long career..."
JazzTimes (12/03, p.103) - "Along with moments of genuine creativity many of the tenorist's signature phrases are present, for sure....Listeners who admire Michael Brecker's playing will find in WIDE ANGLES a rich bounty."
Mojo (Publisher) (12/03, p.120) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[H]e appears, on his records at least, to be mining a fresh seam of musical nuance beyond his renowned technique."
- Cool Day In Hell
- Angle Of Repose
- Night Jessamine
- Evening Faces
- Modus Operandy
- Never Alone