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James Taylor, Paul Simon Pay Tribute To Michael Brecker – AP

James Taylor and Paul Simon paid tribute to late jazz great Michael Brecker with performances and kind words at a cancer benefit for their friend who died in 2007.

Taylor performed “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight” – the first song he played with the jazz saxophonist – in New York City on Tuesday night … at the event dubbed “The Nearness of You” concert at Jazz at Lincoln Centre’s Appel Room.

Brecker, who died at age 57, won more than a dozen Grammy Awards and played with a number of iconic artists, including Elton John, Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, Simon and Taylor.

Tuesday’s benefit for Brecker, the first, raised money to assist two doctors working at Columbia University Medical Centre and fighting to cure myelodysplastic syndrome.

Simon performed “Still Crazy After All These Years” and “The Boxer,” songs he said he “closely associates” with Brecker.

Read more from The Associated Press.