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Gaffe and a half


A full Orchestra Hall house awaited the appearance last Wednesday of Herbie Hancock (pictured) and his all-star jazz line-up of trumpeter Roy Hargrove, bassist Jon Patitucci, drummer Brian Blade and saxophonist Michael Brecker. Trouble was, the lady who so sweetly introduced this heavyweight quintet told the throng that the esteemed sax man was John Brecker. Many in the gallery gasped. Once the ovation subsided, the ageless Herbie grabbed a microphone, shook his head and groused with streetwise mirth, “She didn’t say John Brecker, did she? That can’t be. It was a typo.” The unit ripped off a few numbers arranged in tribute to the 75th anniversaries of the births of John Coltrane and Miles Davis before Herbie delivered a stirring monologue about the role that Coltrane and Davis played in shaping our music and culture. But he prefaced those remarks with, “She didn’t say John Brecker, did she?” For his part, the professorial Brecker seemed amused, and the misinformation did nothing to prevent the combo from transporting us mere mortals to the cosmos.

Metro Times editor Jeremy Voas contributed to The Hot & the Bothered, which is edited by George Tysh. E-mail him at