Saxophonist Michael Brecker succumbs to cancer.

NEW YORK (AP) - Michael Brecker, a versatile and much-studied jazz saxophonist 
who won 11 Grammys over a career that spanned more than three decades, died 
Saturday at age 57.
Brecker died in New York of leukemia, according to his longtime friend and 
agent, Darryl Pitt.

In recent years, the saxophonist had struggled myelodysplastic syndrome, a 
cancer in which the bone marrow stops producing enough healthy blood cells. The 
disease, known as MDS, often progresses to leukemia.

Becker, who had a home in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, was born in 1949 in 
Philadelphia and had won 11 Grammys for his work as a tenor saxophonist. He was 
inspired to study the tenor saxophone by the work of jazz legend John Coltrane, 
according to his website.

He and his brothers led a successful jazz-rock fusion group called the Brecker 
Brothers. Throughout his career, he recorded and performed with numerous jazz 
and pop music leaders, including Herbie Hancock and Joni Mitchell, according to 
the site.

His technique on the saxophone was widely emulated and taught. Jazziz magazine 
once called him "inarguably the most influential tenor stylist of the last 25 

Though somewhat introverted, his struggle with the blood disease led him to 
publicly encourage people to enroll in marrow donor programs.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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