Saxophonist Brecker succumbs to leukemia

Jan. 14, 2007 at 5:10 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- After an award-winning career as a jazz saxophonist, Michael Brecker has succumbed to leukemia in New York at the age of 57.

Following a musical career that included winning 11 Grammy awards, Brecker died Saturday at a New York hospital, The New York Times reported.

During his illustrious career as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the last few decades, the Times said, Brecker worked with musical greats from various genres, including rockers Frank Zappa and Lou Reed, folk singer James Taylor and the late "Godfather of Soul," James Brown.

During his battle with leukemia, tens of thousands of Brecker's fans responded to a call for donated bone marrow by offering their own to the jazz great.

Though such offers ultimately proved fruitless, Brecker maintained his musical career and finished his final album only two weeks ago.

The Times said he is survived by his wife, Susan; a daughter, Jessica; a son, Sam; and two siblings, Emily Brecker Greenberg and Randy Brecker.

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