Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker Master Class - Berklee 1987
Recorded by: Nathan Kline
Transcribed by: Adam Michlin
Time Mark: 14:15
Audio: http://davidvaldez.blogspot.com/2008/12/michael-brecker-master-class-berklee.html
Transcription Copyright 2015 by Adam Michlin

Question(Q): What about Joe Allard?

Michael Brecker (MB): How about him? <audience laughs>

Q: Joe Allard.

MB: My experience with him?

Q. Yeah.

MB: I studied with Joe briefly in New York and it was awhile back and he was constantly on my case telling me I was working too hard to create the sound and he started getting me to relax. In fact, he used to use me as an example to his students of what not to do... <audience laughs>... and since then I have pretty much come around to his way of thinking. As a matter of fact, what I am studying with [Dave]Tofani right now is just straight Joe Allard stuff.

I went through a period where I wouldn't listen to anybody, I didn't want to hear it, I wanted to do it my way and it worked in a certain way but it also had some kind of negative ramifications. And that was kind of stemming from how angry I was as a person and I've since pretty much really concentrated of being able to relax when I play. That's hard for me because I can tense up at a drop of a pin and that's what I learned from Joe.

He also got me into the overtones. And he used to do crazy things, take out his teeth, put my hand into his mouth to feel... <audience laughs>... but it was instructive... that sounds ridiculous but it was very instructive, he knew every muscle and he really had a pretty incredible understanding of the whole larynx and how the larynx played... how the larynx effects the sound and he got me to be aware of my Adam's apple and exactly where my tongue was when I was playing, all that kind of stuff, that I.. I used to play with my tongue too low and he got me not to drop my jaw which I still occaisionally do when I am hitting low notes, subtoning. That was the kind of stuff I learned from Joe, he was amazing, and a great teacher.