When I was in college, my saxophone teacher recommended I study Michael Brecker. I enjoyed his music, especially his recordings with Steps Ahead, but for some reason I quit listening to Brecker sometime after college. Then earlier this year I bought Brecker’s last album Pilgrimage after reading a glowing review.
Brecker recorded Pilgrimage as he was dying of leukemia, but there’s nothing morbid about the album. It’s upbeat, complex, and beautiful. Brecker spent his final days pursuing his art surrounded by friends.