Michael Brecker...

who's name is quite large in contemporary jazz and fusion had been diagnosed with MDS and is in critical condition to fight this illness.
he will definitely need a bone-marrow transplant.
a get-well wishes could be sent to info@michaelbrecker.com
your kidding....this really is horrible,if you like the side men as well,try time is of the essence,take care.
Michael Brecker is one the greatest virtuosos to ever play the instrument. From a technical standpoint, what he does on the saxophone is truly amazing. He has also been the most influential and emulated contemporary, living tenor player over the last twenty five years. The term "Brecker-clone" is one heard countless times, in reference to a lot of the young players that have come out of the music conservatories over the last couple of decades. In addition, he is, in spite of his amazing ability, one of the most humble and sincere individuals one could ever meet.

We wish him all the best.
Please excuse my ignorance, MDS is what?
Very sorry to hear he is ill, I love all the Brecker Brothers recordings since the mid 70's and I have much of Michael's solo work. Saw them twice, the return of the Brecker Brothers tour in 1993 or 1994, at the Bottom Line in the village.
Michael is the best of the best of the best....
mds is aparently a rare blood disease(cancer).i went through tis with my older bro,its a real SOB.i wish greedy drug companys would stop " F " ing us and get to a cure.i have heard they already have cures from herpes to cancer but stand to lose too much g-dam money.
Where did you "hear" this?
>>Where did you "hear" this?<<
Oliver Stone :-)
2 sources:
Thanks for the 2 sites. My "Oliver Stone" reply was a sardonic response to Tiday's Where did you hear this? post regarding the insane assertion by Digsmithd that the drug companies and government are conspiring. Digsmithd is either joking (hopefully) or seriously needs help.
to any one person who has dealt this disease,has to ask a question,is this all they can do.i assure you mustang there is no insane assertion.just lost my oldest not long ago.please....dont need your tag of he must be insane,this is tough,hearing from every front to find answers to why leaves nothing but an open mind to what could of been or could be,i dont think thats an insane notion!
First of all I'm very sorry for your loss. Make no mistake about that. However, for you to make assertions that there is some type of conspiracy by the drug companies without a shread of proof is totally irresponsible. I'm sure you are far from insane and once again you're situation is tragic. I'll have a good thought for you.
The New York Times. August 18, 2005

His Saxophone Is Silent, His Life Is in the Balance


Michael Brecker, one of jazz's most influential tenor saxophonists over the last quarter-century, has been forced to stop performing by blood and bone marrow disease and is searching for a stranger to save his life.

Mr. Brecker, 56, was recently found to have myelodysplastic syndrome, a form of cancer in which the bone marrow stops producing enough healthy blood cells. His doctors say he needs a blood stem cell and bone marrow transplant, a harrowing procedure that will be possible only if Mr. Brecker finds a stem cell donor with a specific enough genetic match for his tissue type. So far, they have been unable to find one from the millions of people on an international registry for bone marrow donors.

Mr. Brecker vows that his saxophone has been silenced only temporarily.

"I really miss playing and I'll be happy to get back to it, but I'm really kind of dealing with a life-and-death situation now," he said recently, resting in bed at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.

His family, friends and fans have been urgently searching and organizing drives, from his temple in Westchester to the summer jazz festivals worldwide. At the Newport Jazz Festival this month, a table was set up where people could have themselves tested, and announcements were made periodically. A similar drive is planned for the Red Sea Jazz Festival next week in Israel.

Fellow musicians have been spreading the word in music circles, urging people to be tested to find a possible match for Mr. Brecker. There was even a rumor circulating that a match had been found, which turned out to be false.

"I'm trying to tell as many people as I can," said the pianist Herbie Hancock, who was touring with Mr. Brecker in March when the symptoms began seriously plaguing him. Mr. Hancock said he tried to buoy Mr. Brecker with "positive energy" and is telling him to be optimistic that a match will come, enabling the potentially life-saving transplant that uses a donor's healthy blood stem cells to replace the patient's unhealthy ones destroyed by chemotherapy.

Doctors told Mr. Brecker he had a 25 percent chance of finding his match from a sibling or one of his children. But neither his sister, Emily, nor his brother, the trumpeter Randy Brecker, nor either of his children matched. Neither did the distant relatives the family tracked down. He and his family are hopeful about the Red Sea Festival drive because Mr. Brecker's lineage is Eastern European Jewish and doctors tell him patients are most likely to match someone of their ethnic group.

Mr. Brecker said that he injured his back while on tour last August in Japan and received the diagnosis when he went for medical testing, but was told he could resume his busy schedule of performing, composing and recording. He went on tour with Mr. Hancock and the trumpeter Roy Hargrove in March and began having severe pain in his pelvis and lower back. Thinking the cause might be his posture, he got a custom saxophone strap, which did not help. One night, playing at Birdland in Manhattan with the saxophonists Joe Lovano and David Liebman, he could barely get through the evening. Doctors finally told him it was the disease causing intense muscle pain.

"Soon I could only play 15 minutes at a time and then not at all, no matter what I did," Mr. Brecker said.

Hobbled by "pain and a feeling of absolute malaise," Mr. Brecker said, he has been unable to practice or write music. He said he had written songs and arrangements for an entire album but became sick before recording it. He was at Sloan-Kettering for seven weeks recovering from an intense regimen of chemotherapy before being released last week. While there, he listened to iTunes on his laptop and researched his illness online, learning a whole new language with words like leukocyte, antigen and hematological oncology.

"We've entered into this world we knew nothing about," said his wife, Susan Brecker. Their daughter, Jessica, 16, has joined the search, working the phones and the Internet every day. Mr. Brecker speaks to his son, Sam, 12, each evening by using a small camera hooked up to his laptop.

Ms. Brecker said that although the family was desperate for a donor - and would certainly accept a donation from someone looking to donate only to Mr. Brecker - they were urging people not to become "Brecker-only" donors, but rather to sign up with the donor registry.

"I just want to be on the line," Mr. Brecker said. "I want as many people as possible to get tested, not just for my sake, but for the thousands of other people who might need what I need."

The Breckers hope that his prominence will increase awareness and that many more people will be tested and added to the registry as potential donors.

"To us it's a much larger thing than just Michael," Ms. Brecker said. "It's become sort of a crusade for Michael Brecker, but it might make a difference in a lot of people's lives.

"I didn't want him to be a poster boy, but if it takes a 'Save Michael Brecker' campaign to expose people to this, we'll do it."

Mr. Brecker first rose to prominence with his brother in the front line of the pianist Horace Silver's quintet, and the two had several hit records in the 1970's with their group, the Brecker Brothers. He has won 11 Grammy Awards and recorded and performed with McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Chet Baker, George Benson, Quincy Jones, Charles Mingus, Joni Mitchell, Jaco Pastorius, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Steely Dan, Pat Metheny and Frank Zappa, among many others.

Shifting gingerly in his bed and propping up the pillows, Mr. Brecker said an anti-inflammatory steroid had helped ease his the pain. He added that he was gradually gaining enough strength to begin playing again and mused on how long it would take to build up his embouchure.

"I don't know if my neighbors would appreciate it," he said, referring to his fellow patients.

In his private room in Sloan-Kettering's transplant unit, the walls were covered with get-well cards that represent a Who's Who of jazz, including Sue Mingus, Charles's wife, the tenor saxophone giant George Coleman, the bassist Ron Carter and the trumpeter Randy Sandke.

There were also letters from fans and students and friends and family. A homemade card from the Litchfield Jazz Camp hung close to the head of his bed.

"The letters gave me a boost," Mr. Brecker said. "Some of them made me cry. I was so sick and so hopeless and they made me realize there are so many people out there who cared."

He leaned back, a man in limbo not only about whether his body will heal, but also about whether someone on the planet with his genetic type will materialize.

"I'm functioning as if it's going to work out," he said.
thankyou for that frogman!