Reviews

“Questioned Answer” Reviews – Downbeat And Jazz Times

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Reviews from Downbeat and Jazz Times magazines of the Brian Lynch/Emmet Cohen recording “Questioned Answer”

Jazz Times – Downbeat reviews 1

Unsung Heroes CD Review Sheet

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

A collection of reviews from various publications of Brian Lynch’s Unsung Heroes recordings.

UH_Critics_Sheet

Downbeat CD Review – “Bolero Nights for Billie Holiday,” Brian Lynch Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra (May 2010)

Monday, June 7th, 2010

So easy to recommend almost all of the 15 albums Brian Lynch has made under his own name since turning heads with the release of his strong hard-bop launch, Peer Pressure, in 1986. (Exceptions: 1989’s Back Room Blues and 2007’s fusion fluke Fuchsia/Red). His newest comes filled with perhaps his most expressive trumpet and flugelhorn playing to date.

This time out, recording for a Japanese label in late 2008, he shares the New York studio with special guest Phil Woods and eight other colleagues, all of whom confidently mix Afro-Cuban rhythms and African-American jazz. Confused by the album title? Don’t be. Lynch is a fan of Lady Day, and he delights in bringing Latin musical components to a few of the songs she sang at the controversial finish of her recording career in 1958. Also here are songs recorded by other jazz worthies of that era plus his own “Afinque” and Raphael Lopez Gonzalez’s “La Sitiera.”

It is a privilege to listen to Lynch for his rich tone and exquisite time, his command of instruments, his imagination and his conviction. Folding together heartache and rapture, he plumbs the emotions at the core of “You’ve Changed” and “I’m A Fool To Want You,” both famously or infamously part of Holiday’s Lady In Satin record. Like Holiday, Lynch is no stranger to musical intimacy. The New Yorker imparts an easy-rippling urgency to “Fire Waltz” and there’s a special life-affirming quality to his playing throughout “Lat Sitiera.”

Every bit the esteemed elder statesman, Woods brings his clear and personal aesthetic to the Lady In Satin material and Charles Mingus’ “Celia.” Ivan Renta provides evidence in solos here and there why Lynch’s collaborator-friend Eddie Palmieri has dubbed the young Puerto Rican alto player “the new Caribbean phenom.” Still, Lynch rules the roost. Benefiting from a calmly intelligent, soulful Latin rhythm section, and never predisposed to mawkishness or flamboyance, he’s the one whose work invites return listens. Art and the pursuit of mastery are the twin engines of what he does here. Lynch inspires superlative.

Frank-John Hadley (****)

Downbeat, May 2010

Concert Review – Spheres Of Influence in Santiago, D.R – July 2, 2009 (en Español)

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

BRIAN LYNCH: CON MAGNIFICO SABOR MONTUNO

El trompetista norteamericano Brian Lynch ofreció un 
espectacular concierto en la Sala de la Restauración del Gran Teatro del 
Cibao. El evento forma parte de las celebraciones en el país de los 233
 años de la Independencia de los Estados Unidos que organiza la Embajada
 Norteamericana en el país, a través del Centro Franklyn. 

Lynch, quien dedicó el concierto al dominicano Mario Rivera, subió al
escenario con su trompeta plateada, utilizando como carta de presentación la
pieza “Liberated Brother”, donde las notas breves y agudas salen a
borbotones de su instrumento. No se queda el tumbao montuno que ha heredado
de su incursión en el mundo de la salsa, junto a Héctor Lavoe, con quien
tocó por cinco años, ni al montuno que le dejó Eddie Palmieri en la
sangre.

Palmieri effect”, le sigue y luego “Afinque”, otra composición suya que,
aunque de auténtico sabor latino, nos ofrece una trompeta más reposada, con
notas más alargadas, pero sin salirse de los agudos que son su
predilección. Le sigue “JB”, una pieza en honor al músico puertorriqueño 
John Benítez. El pianista, poseedor de una técnica depurada, utiliza sólo
las teclas del centro hacia la extrema derecha, esas que le aportan mayor
agudeza. Los acordes recorren el sentir latino que el público siente y
aplaude.

El encendido concierto de jazz latino también ofreció espacio para un
“bolerazo”, acentuado por una percusión marcada que hizo soñar al público
con la más auténtica expresión del género, con la pieza “Qué sería la vida”
y un final con la trompeta de Lynch, sola, ahora acentuando esas notas
redondas, que la hacen más romántica, pero siempre agudas, llenando los
espacios de la sala.

Otra de las piezas escogidas fue “Solar”, un clásico del legendario Miles
Davis, con arreglos de Brian Lynch, quien es además autor de la mayoría de
las piezas que interpretó el quinteto. El repertorio vivaz, de corte latino
incluyó numerosos y oportunos solos de piano, de percusión, batería, bajo y
por supuesto trompeta, cuya calidad el público premió con los aplausos.

Lynch, en el concierto, mostró que ha sido cautivado por el jazz latino,
género que comenzó a tocar en su natal Milwakee. Para él, las melodías, el
ritmo y la clave latina, han dejado huellas indelebles en su carrera 
musical, formando parte ya de un sello inconfundible que le permite tener un
estilo distintivo y un sonido inconfundible.

*Apoyo*

*A ritmo de merengue*

La parte final del concierto incluyó la participación del acordeonista
típico “El Prodigio”, quien interpretó junto a la banda “Autumn leaves”, un
estándar del jazz tradicional y “Manteca”, una pieza emblemática del jazz 
latino compuesta por Chano Pozo y Dizzie Gillespie. En ellas, el acordeón
ofreció sus mejores notas de manos del intérprete típico, a ritmo de buen 
merengue, apoyado en la parte rítmica, por unas congas que simularon la
tambora y por un hi-hat que hizo las veces de la guira de nuestra música.

*Apoyo*

*Aportes de la percusión*

Dentro del grupo participa el percusionista Pedro Martínez, cubano que se
inició siendo niño con los tambores rituales “batá”. Su amplio vocabulario 
musical le permite, dentro del género latino, el de su origen, ofrecer un
variado repertorio de melodías no reiterativas que aportan variedad a las
piezas, a través de ese lenguaje diverso y versátil, sin salirse de los
ritmos, ni perder el objetivo central de cada solo.

*LUISA REBECCA*

Performance Review – Brian Lynch @ Dazzle (Denver) Dec. 2008

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

This review is reproduced from the Reverb Music blog on DenverPost.com. Read the original here.

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Grammy-winning trumpeter Brian Lynch loosens his lips during his set at Dazzle on Saturday. Photos courtesy of Al Hood.

I’m guessing trumpet players get a bum rap sometimes simply because their instrument is one that can’t be ignored, resounding as it does in the topmost register of the brass woodwind family. There are the stereotypes about how trumpeters are self-centered, too loud and have funny-looking “trumpet lips.” There are the jokes: What’s the difference between a trumpet player and government bonds? The bonds eventually mature and earn money.

While I did not have an opportunity to speak long with trumpeter Brian Lynch after his show at Dazzle on Saturday night, his performance said plenty about his unselfish approach to music. On a night when Lynch was in town without his band, it would have been easy for the Grammy-award-winning trumpeter to take over the show single-handedly. And, in no slight at all to Lynch’s prodigious talents, it would have been our loss.

Bijou2Dazzle

Thankfully, Lynch created spaces for his outstanding backing musicians from Denver: Jeff Jenkins on piano, Paul Romaine behind the drum kit and Bijoux Barbosa on bass. A dynamic interplay resulted, with Lynch pushing the tempo and the band feeding off the trumpeter’s bright tones.

Lynch tore into his set with “Woody Shaw,” a cut from his album “Tribute to the Trumpeters.” In my opinion, Shaw was one of the greatest trumpeters of his generation, and it was a thrill to hear Lynch “play homage” in Shaw’s trademark angular style. “It Could Be” was a down tempo tribute to relatively unheralded trumpeter Tommy Turrentine. Jenkins added tension to the song with a piano solo that wheeled seamlessly from classical to “stride” to funk and blues accents so quickly it was difficult to track his trail. Lynch also called up a former student in the audience, pianist Ben Markey, to sit in and showcase his considerable talents.

BrianPaul

A cut from the Latin-fueled “Simpatico,” Lynch’s 2007 Grammy-winning album, gave Barbosa’s nimble style on the bass a chance to shine. “One for Mogie,” a song in praise of trumpet great Lee Morgan from Lynch’s forthcoming “Unsung Heroes” album, closed the night’s set in rousing style, with emotional swings reminiscent of Morgan and a wild interplay between Lynch and Romaine on the drums.

The great aspect of Romaine’s playing has always been that it’s as expressive as it is aggressive, so it was great to see Lynch playfully crowd the drum kit with trumpet bursts, blurring the lines of a drum solo. Likewise, the encore featured Jenkins amazingly paraphrasing each of Lynch’s improvisational lines.

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I usually prefer jazz players who make more mistakes than Brian Lynch — that is, if Lynch made any. He’s a virtuoso who is now an accomplished composer, giving his listeners more insight into his own voice and the many things he has to say. If you look at the arc of his career, this seems to be the direction he’s moving. And don’t be surprised if that path includes more Grammys.

Of course, this does not change the fact that trumpeters really do have funny-looking lips.

Denver-based writer Sam DeLeo is a published poet, has seen two of his plays produced and is currently finishing his second novel.

Photos courtesy of Al Hood, copyright 2008.