"Simpático" - The Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project (2006 Grammy Award Winner for Best Latin Jazz Album)
- The Palmieri Effect (7:53) Brian Lynch – Hollistic Music – BMI
- Que Sería La Vida (5:25) Brian Lynch/Lila Downs – Hollistic Music/Nara Music/Cloud People Music – BMI
- Guajira Dubois (8:51) Brian Lynch – Hollistic Music – BMI
- Jazz Impromptu (6:03) Brian Lynch – Hollistic Music – BMI
- Páginas de Mujer (8:39) Eddie Palmieri/Magdalena Gonzalez/Francisco Zumaqué – Publishing adm. by Bug Music – BMI
- Slippery (8:18) Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri – Hollistic Music/Palmas Floribe – BMI
- Jazzucar (8:24) Eddie Palmieri/Brian Lynch – Palmas Floribe/Hollistic Music – BMI
- Tema para Marissa (6:15) Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri – Hollistic Music/Palmas Floribe – BMI
- Free Hands (6:50) Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri – Hollistic Music/Palmas Floribe – BMI
- Brian Lynch – trumpet
- Eddie Palmieri – piano
- Lila Downs – voice
- Phil Woods – alto saxophone
- Donald Harrison – alto saxophone
- Yosvany Terry – alto saxophone*
- Gregory Tardy – tenor saxophone, clarinet
- Conrad Herwig – trombone
- Mario Rivera – baritone saxophone
- Edsel Gomez – piano, organ
- Boris Kozlov – acoustic bass
- Ruben Rodriguez – baby bass
- Luques Curtis – acoustic bass
- Dafnis Prieto – drums
- Robby Ameen – drums
- Pefro Martinez – congas, bongo, campaña, coro
- Giovanni Hidalgo – congas
- Little Johnny Rivero – bongo, campaña
- Marvin Diz – timbales
- Pete Rodriguez – maracas, guiro
- Adam Rogers – acoustic guitar
- Joe Fielder – additional trombone
*The tracks that Yosvany Terry plays on could not be included on this CD for space reasons. Participants may download these bonus tracks through their account at http://brianlynch.artistshare.com.
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
Brian Lynch is an extraordinary talent, one of the greatest trumpet players I’ve ever met. He’s very well known in the jazz world. But when he came into the Latin thing, I saw him make it his business to buy the right recordings, like Barry Rogers did, and extract the essence of Latin rhythms from them. He comprehends Latin very well, and that’s difficult to do.
You know how not to be an outsider? Don’t be an outsider.
“I like to see how my sensibility can mesh with different things,” says Brian Lynch. “I love it all – playing on a montuno with a salsa orchestra or playing a bebop line with Phil Woods. It’s like turning an object around and seeing different facets of it – and the object is the music.”
Few musicians can match Lynch’s bona fides as an idiomatic insider in the demanding worlds of hardcore jazz and Latin, both as a composer and a player. Most of them appear on this recital, which reflects more fully than any previous Lynch project the extraordinary scope of his accomplishment.
Here Lynch sets out to do no less than “pull together everything I’ve done from the late ‘80s on with some of the most important people I’ve worked with.” Towards that end, he recruited Eddie Palmieri, with whom he has worked steadily since 1987, and Phil Woods, a frequent Lynch employer since 1992.
Both regard Lynch more as a collaborator than a sideman, an attitude that Palmieri cosigns by participating in collaborative reimaginations of his classic songs Azucar and Páginas De Mujer, the latter sung by rich-voiced chanteuse Lila Downs. Aided by some on-the-spot Palmeri coaching, Downs, best known for the passion with which she conveys Mexican vernacular song, reveals the soul of a world-class salsera, putting her own stamp on a lyric made famous by Cheo Feliciano on Palmieri’s 1980 white album.
This Palmieri-Lynch simpático produces three memorable new compositions as well, including the exquisite Tema Para Marissa (for Lynch’s wife) and Slippery. The latter is an irresistible waltz that launches with a soaring theme-and-variation solo b the 75-year-old Woods, and concludes with a concise, profound Palmieri exploration, on which the maestro translates his personal harmonic concept to the flow of jazz, while upholding the principle that the piano is an instrument comprising 88 tuned drums. The elders also join forces – with similar impact – on Lynch’s Jazz Impromptu, a straight-ahead line with a sweet melody that shows how deeply the leader internalized lessons learned during a 1982-85 stint with Horace Silver, whose Latinophilic compositions, not coincidentally caught Palmieri’s ear as a young bandleader in the early ‘60s.
Make no mistake about whose music this is, though. An instantly recognizable trumpet stylist, Lynch, his tone burnished, his articulation crisp, tells compelling, nuanced stories on each solo, projecting a wide emotional range. Lynch himself considers his work here ranking with the very finest of his career. How fully he controls his material is evident in the charts, replete with orchestrative detail, gnarly chord progressions, striking melodies, tension-and-release, and intoxicating rhythms. Consider in this regard The Palmieri Effect, named in tribute to the master’s inimitable vocal augmentation of his solo line. Here as throughout the all-star cast, comprised of long-time Lynch associates – they include Conrad Herqig, Donald Harrison, Greg Tardy, Mario Rivera, Edsel Gomez, Giovanni Hidalgo, Robby Ameen, Dafnis Preito, and Pedro Martinez – executes immaculately and attains grad heights of instrumental derring-do on the solos.
“When I grew up, I thought it took a long time to really be qualified to say something in jazz,” says Lynch, who turns 50 this year. “You play with everybody, do all kinds of things, marinate a while, and the payoff comes in your forties and fifties.”
“It’s been an interesting dynamic over these years to go back and forth between Eddie and Phil. This certain balance is emblematic of the way I’ve been approaching music, and my own music meets those elements in the middle, so to speak. So having them on my project together meant a lot to me. It sums up my feelings about how these two very important professional relationships have affected my own way of thinking and writing and playing music.”
In 1987, I met a quite talented and diverse jazz musician by the name of Brian Lynch. Immediately this incredible trumpet player and I began a sincere on stage relationship as if he had been in my orchestra for years. Throughout this time period, I observed that Brian was intrigued by the complexity of the rhythmical patterns that make Afro-World Music so unique.
His spirit of investigation has allowed him to comprehend a most difficult but underrated genre.
This recording session for me personally was quite rewarding in meeting and recording with the legendary Phil Woods. His status as one of the greats is well documented, and it certainly will be a major musical highlight in my career that I had the honor to record with this genius. In addition, working with the multi-talented vocalist Lila Downs was truly exciting. Her warmth and sincere approach in the studio was heartfelt and she sang “Páginas de Mujer” wonderfully. Brian, thank you for the arrangement on my composition; well done!
Of course, the rest of the personnel on the project rose to everyone’s expectations with thrilling performances. I thank them all for their musicality and friendship. Thank you, Brian, for giving me that comfort zone that allowed me to performs in your jazz genre. I applaud you!
Summer 1987. I’m getting ready to go to Europe for a short tour with The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra when the phone rings. On the line is my trumpeter colleague and new tight friend Charlie Sepulveda, who I met the year before when he joined the orchestra of “El Cantante” Hector LaVoe, who I’d been playing with on a regular basis since 1983. Charlie wants to know if there’s any way I could fill in with Eddie Palmieri’s orchestra. They’re off to Europe too, and trumpeter Jauncito Torres has a conflict that prevents him from taking part in the tour. I had met Eddie and heard the band in rehearsal a couple of months previously in NY, and did I ever have eyes for playing with him! I knew it could be my most significant step yet in the journey into Afro-Caribbean music that started with playing in salsa bands in my hometown of Milwaukee, and developed in New York with Angel Canales, Hector, and many other Latin orchestras. This music had become very important to me, as I was strongly influenced even then by Latin music in trying to develop an individual conception of playing and composing jazz. By the happiest of coincidences, the Palmieri tour and the Akiyoshi tour were not conflicting with each other though taking place in the same period, so with some creative ingenuity in travel arrangements I could make both tours. So it was that one evening that July I shared the stage for the first time with Eddie Palmieri, entering a musical maelstrom that would profoundly shape my music and life from that day onward.
Eddie has given me so much! His generosity in sharing his limitless knowledge and wisdom with me, his support and confidence in my abilities, and his sincere friendship has endowed me immeasurably. Ever since I started with Eddie and experienced firsthand the immense potential of his music as jazz (which, in my humble opinion, it has been from the beginning days of La Perfecta, a latter-day 1930s Count Basie Orchestra in the way it redefined the swing of the musical idiom it innovated), I had hoped someday I could learn and grow enough to be worthy of collaborating with the maestro on a project together. At the considerable risk of plumbing the depths of cliché, I can confidently state that having brought this project into being is a cherished dream come true. I’m proud to say that it has turned out better than I dared hope to expect.
Que Viva Eddie Palmieri!
Brian Lynch – April 25, 2006
This recording is dedicated to my wife Marissa for her unwavering support, even when we were both ready to crack from the stress! Thanks to Phil Woods, my other mentor-maestro, for his participation and artistry. And also to Lila Downs for lending her emotion, soul, and beauty to the songs she sang. And to all my musical family for making this dream a reality: Conrad, Donald, Greg, Mario, Gio, Dafnis, Robby, Pedrito, Pequeño Johnny, Little Pete, Boris, Edsel, Ruben, Luques, Marvin, Yosvany, Adam, Joe. I’m proud to be associated with all of your genius! To David Darlington for his sonic wizardry, patience, good humor, and generosity. DD, you’re the greatest! And not least, to Eddie Palmieri II for big ears and great ideas. As always, thanks to my mother and father, Marti and Tom Lynch for their love and support. Without them, none of this would have been possible. A special thank you to all the ArtistShare participants for helping to make this record possible! And finally, thanks to Brian Camelio for devising the ArtistShare system that made it possible for me to take real control of my artistic destiny.
The single greatest factor in the success of this recording was the total commitment and support given to my efforts by the maestro, Eddie Palmieri. Eddie, I’ll never be able to thank you enough for the way you approached this project – as if it was your very own.
There are four very special people that have done so much to make this project a reality. Their contributions made it possible for me to have so much more to offer you here than I possibly could have done on my own. A special thank you to Tom, Roger, Gary, and Nick for all they’ve given to this work. I’d like to present them in their own words.
When I heard that Brian Lynch and the top names in Latin jazz were teaming up to honor Eddie Palmieri, it was a dream come true. As a fan since the late 1980s, I’ve always been amazed at their ability to improvise logically but with passion over inventive musical progressions. Upon finally getting to know them, I’ve discovered also that they are witty, intelligent, kind, and generous. I want to say humbly from the bottom of my heart “thank you” to Brian and Eddie for the joy they have given, and continue to give, all their fans around the world.
I dedicated my participation in this project to mi vida, Elena.
As a fan of Brian Lynch’s music for the past 20 years, I have had the pleasure of watching the development of this project into something very special. My good friend Brian is indisputably at the top of his game as a trumpeter, arranger, and composer and for these sessions, I watched him bring together two musical legends, a dream team of master musicians and one of the finest engineers in the business to help realize his vision. It was a privilege to witness the generous spirit of collaboration that produced the vibrant, spontaneous music on this recording. Brian is showing us the future of this remarkable music, and it sounds great.
Musicians are generous by their very nature. They use instruments to share their innermost thoughts and emotions with the public. Th Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project is distinguished by extraordinary generosity.
I jumped at the invitation to capture the rehearsals and recordings sessions via photo and video, but was anxious about how the musicians would react to the intrusion. Not only did the musicians perform as if I weren’t there, but they welcomed me to their creative community. I hope my work captures the essence of their brilliance and provides insight into their creative process.
The musical continuum is enriched by the hard-swinging, fearless border crossing of the artists heard on this CD. The interactive nature of the Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project allows us to listen as well as learn. Imagine if every class in school made you want to dance!
Gary S. Stager
When a group of gifted artists come together, check their egos at the door and collaborate with a sense of friendship and common purpose, magical things happen. If my photographs play a part, however small, to illustrate this process, I will have done my job. The beautiful music contained on this record is the real proof.
I am most grateful to all the distinguished musicians for their patience and grace in allowing me to constantly stick my camera in their faces. A very special thanks to Maestro Eddie Palmieri, Mr. Phil Woods, Donald Harrison and Boris Kozlov for spending extra time.
To Brian Lynch: your exceptional talent is only surpassed by your kindness and generosity.
Recorded at Bennett Studios, Englewood, NJ on Nov. 23, 25, 26, Dec. 5, 2005
Engineer: David Darlington
Additional Recording at Bass Hit Studios, New York, NY
Mixed by David Darlington and Brian Lynch at Bass hit Studios, New York, NY with assistance from Tom Dambly and Roger Townsend.
Mastered by Tom Carr at The Annex, Menlo Park, CA
Produced by Brian Lynch
Assistant Producer, Web Photos and Pro Tools: Tom Dambly
Principal Photography: Nick Ruechel (photo of Giovanni Hidalgo: Jerry Lacay)
Videography, Web Photos and New Media Consultant: Gary Stager
Design: Christian Ericson
ArtistShare Executive Producer Participant: Roger Townsend
ArtistShare Gold Participants: Peter Straub, Jo Daley
ArtistShare Silver Participant (Honorary): Karen Joseph
ArtistShare Bronze Participants: Rafael Hernandez, Bryan Davis, Fred & Meg Lynch, Philip Tauber, Kent Sargent
Brian Lynch Horns: Yamaha 8310Z trumpet, Monette 993 trumpet (Que Sería La Vida, Tema Para Marissa)
Trumpet mouthpieces by Monette
Brian’s hats by Kelly Christy
Eddie Palmieri courtesy of Concord Records
Lila Downs courtesy of Narada Productions
Giovanni Hidalgo, Pedro Martinez, and Johnny Rivero are LP artists.
Eddie Palmieri: www.eddiepalmierimusic.com
Lila Downs: www.liladowns.com
Phil Woods: www.philwoods.com
Conrad Herwig: www.conradherwig.com
Dafnis Prieto: www.dafnisprieto.com
Robby Ameen: www.robbyameen.com
Adam Rogers: www.adamrogersmusic.com
Pete Rodriguez: www.petestrumpet.com
Gary Stager: www.stager.org
Nick Ruechel: www.nickruechel.com
Christian Ericson: www.brightmoments.org
Tom Dambly: www.dambly.com
- ArtistShare (AS0057)
- Recorded on Nov. 23, 25, 26 & Dec. 5, 2005.
- Recorded at Bennett Studios, Englewood, NJ
- Produced by Brian Lynch
- Engineered by David Darlington