Happy Birthday, Mike

It was always fun getting Mike Brecker to laugh. Nobody could make him laugh like Randy; we didn’t see them go off all that often, but when they hit it they both got almost paralyzed laughing about some story Randy had remembered or some little thing he said under his breath. But the hardest I ever saw Mike laugh was one time in London when we decided to go find “the best Indian food in London”. Mike had heard that it was this place called “Raj Doot”, so we got in a cab, I think it was me, James Genus, Mike and Dean Brown, and headed for “Raj Doot”. We expected maybe a 10-minute ride, but half an hour later we were still driving; we were kind of headed out of town, I think we saw some cows on the way, and we were thinking “this can’t be right”. We’re out on the highway, and finally we see a bit of neon up ahead and the cab driver makes the turn, and when we finally pull up after this whole odyssey we are at a restaurant called “Raj Poot”. And Mike just busted out laughing so hard that he couldn’t even get out of the cab for a few minutes. Happy Birthday Mike; I will always miss you.



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  • Holly on

    Thanks for this, George. I loved Michael’s laughter, too. ❤


  • Curtis Weeks on

    Yep. One of the best sax players that ever lived. I try not to be sad about him being gone, so I just listen to him play. I’ve never heard such mastery.


  • Darren Chell on

    Mike was one of the most important musicians of the modern jazz era. It saddens me that he was taken from us so early and that there are no new recordings / new projects to look forward too. On a brighter note, he left behind so many inspiring, jaw dropping and sheer wonderful performances for us to enjoy. I only have to put on a cd, close my eyes and he is there and if I listen closely, there is always something new to take away from each tune, even if I have listened to it a thousand times before. He was (and still is) a true inspiration.


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