This year’s Grammy Awards include four nods for Randy Brecker, an East Hampton resident, veteran jazz, rock, and R&B trumpeter, flugelhorn player, and composer.
Mr. Brecker’s “The Jazz Ballad Song Book,” with the Danish Radio Big Band, was recently nominated for best large jazz ensemble album. The album also received a nomination for best instrumental arrangement, with credit to Peter Jensen. One of its tracks, “All or Nothing at All,” was nominated for best improvised jazz solo.
The song “I Talked to the Trees,” which received a nod for best instrumental composition, was written on a windy day in his East Hampton backyard. “The track was recorded quickly,” Mr. Brecker said, and “was a lot of fun to do.” He said the Danish Radio Big Band invited him over to play with them, and he almost forgot about the track until six months later, when Half Note Records sent him the MP3. “I thought it sounded great,” he said. It was released a few days later.
No stranger to the Grammys, Mr. Brecker has performed at the awards ceremony and has five Grammy Awards under his belt, received in 1994, 1997, 2003, 2006, and 2008. One of the five he won with his brother as the Brecker Brothers for their “Out of the Loop” album in 1994. Michael Brecker, who died in 2002, was his partner in a popular funk and fusion band that recorded several albums from the 1970s through the 1990s. His brother is sorely missed, Mr. Brecker said, adding that the two of them played together effortlessly.
His current project, due out in the summer, is a kind of Brecker Brothers reunion in which Mr. Brecker’s wife, Ada Rovatti, plays his brother’s role as saxophonist on the live DVD tribute. He and his wife have performed with each other for the 15 years that they have been together. The album also includes former members of the band, and the plan is to support it with a world tour when it’s complete.
Mr. Brecker’s world travels usually include Eastern Europe, which he called “a hot bed of jazz.” He said he also loves going to Israel whenever he can, which is usually once a year. “I go where the fans take me,” he said. His youngest daughter, Stella, has already been to Italy, Turkey, all over the United States, and on a jazz cruise in the Caribbean.
He has played with many celebrated musicians and bands, Arturo Sandoval, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, Horace Silver, Charles Mingus, Frank Zappa, Dire Straits, Todd Rundgren, Blue Oyster Cult, and Spyro Gyra among them.
Mr. Brecker returned from the Middle East to his house in Northwest Woods, East Hampton, on Dec. 23. He has owned the house since 1989, making increasingly frequent visits there over the years until it made sense for him to stop keeping a place in New York City. It has been his full-time residence since May.
“I don’t work there as much as I used to,” he said of New York, “about two or three weeks a year.” In addition, Stella turned 3 and started preschool here.
When in town, he has been known to appear at the Bay Burger jam in Sag Harbor, where he met the musicians that led to his Bay Street Theatre performance during the Sag Harbor Music Festival in September. The All-Star East End Band played together for the first time that night “after rehearsing a little” at one of the musician’s houses. Eventually, the band may turn up at another venue on the East End, Mr. Brecker said. He will be on the road at the end of this month but will definitely be back in town for the North Fork’s Jazz on the Vine festival in March.
Mr. Brecker’s older daughter, Amanda, who attended East Hampton High School, is also an accomplished musician. She lives in Manhattan and has “done quite well” as a folk, jazz, and pop singer signed to Universal Records, he said. She has recently released her third CD, “Blossom,” in Japan. The album, a tribute to James Taylor and Carole King, will eventually be available in this country. (Her mother, Eliane Elias, a Brazilian pianist and singer, lives “up the street” from Mr. Brecker, he said.)
As for the Grammy Awards ceremony on Feb. 12, Mr. Brecker said he plans to attend. “I’ll spend the weekend in Los Angeles and hope for the best. If nothing pans out, at least I’ll get together with some old friends and have some fun. . . . Win or lose, it will be a great show.”