Shanachie Entertainment Debut Out 9/11
Offering A Soulfully Inspiring Album In Spades
What do you get when you pair two visionaries who happen to be kindred spirits? You get an ace in the hole! Multi Grammy award-winners trumpeter/flugelhornist Randy Brecker and saxophonist Eric Marienthal and deliver ten thrilling originals on their anticipated Shanachie Entertainment debut Double Dealin’ out September 11, 2020. It’s all aboveboard on Double Dealin’ as Brecker and Marienthal opt not to follow suit but rather let the spirit of the moment be their guide as they draw some wild cards and the blur boundaries between traditional and contemporary jazz. Randy Brecker, who was a key player in numerous ground-breaking fusion bands like Blood, Sweat and Tears and Larry Coryell’s The Eleventh House, states “Duke Ellington said ‘There are only two kinds of music, good and bad' and we both love the latter!” Double Dealin’ marks Brecker and Marienthal’s first co-led recording. Danny Weiss, Shanachie Entertainment VP Of Jazz A&R says, “This album is a rarity - funky and brilliant at the same time. One plus one equals five with these two jazz giants.”
Brecker and Marienthal have built careers being musician’s musicians. Randy Brecker has remained at the forefront of creative music for over six decades collaborating with everyone from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Horace Silver, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, The Brecker Brothers (with his late tenor titan brother, Michael Brecker), Bruce Springsteen, Parliament/Funkadelic and Steely Dan. Saxophonist Eric Marienthal’s equally impressive career has allowed him to captivate audiences alongside everyone from Chick Corea’s Elektric Band, Patti Austin, Lee Ritenour, Elton John, Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder, among others. Longtime comrades on and off the stage, Marienthal and Brecker credit one thing for bringing them together. “Pizza” exclaims Brecker who won a Grammy this year for his album with the NDR Big Band. Laughing he adds, “We dig each other's playing and personalities. We also like each other’s families. Eric and I have played together many times throughout the years with different ensembles including Jeff Lorber, The GRP Big Band and always 'clicked' as a section, so we were long overdue in doing a project together.” Marienthel adds, “Yes, definitely pizza! Besides being one of the world’s great musicians and trumpet players, Randy is a very open and cool guy. Getting to play with Randy is like getting to make a pizza with Mario Batali! You just know that no matter what you do it’s going to end up being great.”
Bringing Double Dealin’ to fruition was a bi-coastal affair as both musicians created from their own home based studios with Brecker in Long Island and Marienthal in Los Angeles. The duo sent files back and forth to one another and Brecker even admits that his attire for some of the session was PJs. “When the pandemic hit the mixing phase was about to begin,” recalls Marienthal who is the musical director of both the Blue Note At Sea Cruise and The Smooth Jazz Cruise. “I have to say it was a welcome distraction to deep dive into this music.” Double Dealin’ unites the dynamic duo with keyboardist and producer George Whitty, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Dave Weckl. “George Whitty is one of the very best musicians and record producers out there,” comments Marienthal. “Dave Weckl and John Patitucci are longtime bandmates of mine with the Chick Corea Elektric Band and good friends. Their playing on this record is exceptional and really put the icing on the cake!”
The thrilling ten-track album opens with the first single and title track. All bets are off as Brecker and Marienthal get down to business on this funky and free wheeling ditty that sets the tone for the joyous excursion ahead. The composition “Three Deuces,” takes us out for a bluesy cruise while “Fast Lane” shift gears for a high-octane affair propelled by Dave Weckl’s driving rhythms. Double Dealin’ also features tender moments like the gorgeous ballad “Mine The Fire,” penned by Marienthal and Whitty in memory of guitarist and friend Chuck Loeb. “Chuck was one of my closest friends,” reflects Marienthal, who appears on Loeb’s last two Shanachie recordings Bridges (Co-led by Marienthal) and Unspoken. In 2018, Marienthal organized and played a star-studded memorial concert at the Berks Jazz Fest for Loeb that featured Brecker among numerous others. Brecker who has long had an affinity for Brazilian music offers “Sambop,” where Samba rhythms and Bebop harmonies joyously collide. Brecker’s no-holds barred track “You Ga (Ta Give It),” is a delight as he and Marienthal create maximum firepower from the opening note to the exhilarating end. Eric Marienthal and George Whitty’s intriguing and intensely beautiful “True North” lends itself to some memorable interplay and soloing including that of bassist John Patitucci. It’s all about the groove on “The Hipster,” while the meandering and percussive “Jetlagged” takes us down a totally different path. Double Dealin’ comes to a finale with “Habañero,” which lives up to its name offering the perfect combination of hot and cool that leaves you wanting more.
Randy Brecker concludes, “Double Dealin’ is uplifting and filled with great vibes and fun beats. I hope it takes everyone's mind off our current problems and I hope people just groove with it and forget about everything else for a while!” Eric Marienthal adds, “This record has a particularly uplifting feel which is a good thing for the times we’re in right now. I know I feel better when I listen to it!”