Program Notes For Iridium Gig 7/28/13

July 28th, 2013

Thanks for taking an interest in our music. The program for tonight’s performance is centered around the music from a soon to be released recording project in which my young colleague Emmet Cohen, our pianist tonight, and myself are the principal collaborators, that is to say, co-leaders. Our most esteemed, nay legendary, drummer tonight, Jabali Billy Hart, is also a part of this recording project, along with the bassist Boris Kozlov, for which another tremendously talented and estimable gentleman, Peter Washington, is taking the place of on tonight’s bandstand. We will be playing selections from the quartet portions of the recording, as well as a couple of duo renditions of material from the standard and jazz classic songbook. These duos by Emmet and myself are also a component of our upcoming recording project. We’ll complete our set list for this hit with a selection of my other originals, both of recent vintage and from a little further back, that I thought would be appropriate alongside the other tunes.

We hope that our program will be enjoyable for you and sustain your interest throughout, despite its having no overt theme other being a foretaste of our recording, or paying tribute to any one jazz icon as a means to bask in their reflected glory. I would like to think that tonight we pay tribute to all of our forebears by seeking to present original music, as they did.

In the absence of immediately recognizable, pre tested and thoroughly digested tunes, perhaps it would be of help to the interested audient to have a few lines about each of the original selections for tonight.

First, let’s have Emmet Cohen introduce his songs:

Dark Passenger– Inspired by the story line of the hit Showtime series “Dexter”, “Dark Passenger is the journey of the uncontrollable secret human urge to do the forbidden. This enigmatic feeling is carried throughout and even with effort, cannot be subsided. The mysterious textures and the freedom of the piece allow it to take on a new shape depending on the moods and states of the performers and the audience.

Distant Hallow– This haunting melody captures the unexpected encounter of a far away, vacated land. Oddly, it is more intriguing than it is dangerous. The more it is explored, the more it begs to be dug deeper into, revealing… Well, I’ll let you figure it out!

Petty Theft– Written from the perspective of the thief, this composition starts from a state of peace and contemplation and winds through the thread of thought in the human brain that leads to unethical action. It is not out of need, malice nor thirst for violence, but just for the sake of defying rules as we know them. It is up to you to decide if the thief is caught!

Turning to my tunes, first the new ones from the upcoming side:

Cambios means, or intends to mean,  “changes” in Spanish. Changes as in chords, this is a very “harmonic” piece, where a lot of the thrill is in how the melodic soloists deal with the track. The 24 measure chorus is a second cousin to the blues. Even with all the changes, it’s possible to say something on it since the overall line has that rising feeling.

Buddy is named for one of my mentors, pianist and vibist Buddy Montgomery (Wes’s brother). It’s a little reminiscent of his sophisticated Latin/funk tunes. The way the minor chords work through the outside sections can be interesting to the improvisor; you can either run the unorthodox movements or play soulfully (maybe even both?). You can get a groove happening on this one.

Questioned Answer (excuses to Charles Ives) mines related ground to Buddy harmonically, with the planar movement of minor 7th chords in both directions circle wise. But there’s a rising motion in this one too. The release gets some tension happening between the cross rhythm and the snaky octatonic melodic variations.

Unsung Blues was written for my “Unsung Heroes” project of a couple of years back. It’s a 3/4, rolling kind of number. The rising major chords in the third phrase are rewarding to play off of. It’s easy to achieve a modal, bashing energy in this song.

RoditiSamba was also recorded on “Unsung Heroes” as a dedication to mentor and trumpet great Claudio Roditi. The tune itself is an updating of an earlier composition, “C.K.’s Bossa”, dating back to my school days and recorded on my “Back Room Blues” CD in 1989.

Woody Shaw, written at the turn of the millennium and recorded on my “Tribute To The Trumpet Masters” CD of 2001, is a tune everyone loves to play (if I do say so myself). It’s dedicated to the trumpet Titan that it’s named after, and also now to his one time pianist, the late Mulgrew Miller, who played on the recording.

Tribute To Blue, also originally recorded on “Tribute To The Trumpet Masters”, dates back the farthest of any of the original compositions offered this evening. Written in 1985, it waited around a while to get noticed. Phil Woods has also recorded this song. By the way,”Blue” refers to the great trumpeter Blue Mitchell.


Program to be selected from:


Cambios (2012) – Brian Lynch

Questioned Answer (2012) – Brian Lynch

Buddy (2012) – Brian Lynch

Petty Theft (2011) – Emmet Cohen

Dark Passenger (2011) – Emmet Cohen

Distant Hallow (2011) – Emmet Cohen

Unsung Blues (2009) – Brian Lynch

RoditiSamba (2008) – Brian Lynch

Woody Shaw (2001) – Brian Lynch

Tribute To Blue (1985) Brian Lynch


The Cup Bearers (Tom McIntosh)

Asiatic Raes (Kenny Dorham)

I Wish I Knew

How Deep Is The Ocean

My Ideal

Just In Time

It Might As Well Be Spring


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