Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Brian Lynch and Spheres of Influence: Songbook Vol. 2: Dance the Way U Want To (Hollistic MusicWorks)

A review of the trumpeter's second release in his songbook series

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.
Brian Lynch and Spheres of Influence: Songbook Vol. 2: Dance the Way U Want To (Hollistic MusicWorks)
The cover of Songbook Vol. 2: Dance the Way U Want To by Brian Lynch and Spheres of Influence

When trumpeter Brian Lynch released the first volume of his “Songbook” series last fall, Bus Stop Serenade, he promised more would soon be forthcoming, and now he’s delivered. Like the first one, Dance the Way U Want To presents just over two hours of music. The first half consists of re-recordings of original compositions going back as far as the ’80s; the second disc is given over mainly to radio versions of the same songs.

“E.P.’s Plan B,” which leads off the set, is a new song, dedicated to Latin-jazz giant Eddie Palmieri, whom Lynch has accompanied for many years. With Alex Brown taking the piano role, Aldo Salvent on tenor saxophone, and a rhythm section of Rodner Padilla (electric bass), Hilario Bell (drums), and Murphy Aucamp’s particularly stimulating Latin percussion, Lynch is quick out of the gate with a characteristically fiery solo before giving it up to the others, each of whom, Lynch states in his liner notes, is connected to the Miami music scene.

“Change of Plan,” the next track—originally cut for his 1986 leader debut, Peer Pressure—is one of several featuring a second melody team of Tom Kelley (alto sax), Chris Thompson-Taylor (tenor sax), and Kemuel Roig (piano), with the rhythm section remaining intact. Taken at a cooler tempo, but not by much, the track brings out the more sensual side of Lynch’s blowing, although there’s still plenty of gutsiness in what he and the band have to offer.

Other tracks, among them “The Disco Godfather” and the sometimes frenetic closer “Awe Shocks” (one of three from 2005’s ConClave), realize Lynch’s goal of recontextualizing older material. The radio edits, however, seem for the most part superfluous—more new versions of old tunes would have been a more welcomed way to fill out the project.

Learn more about Songbook Vol. 2: Dance the Way U Want To on Amazon and Apple Music.

Brian Lynch: His Unsung Trumpet Heroes

Jeff Tamarkin

Jeff Tamarkin on social media

Jeff Tamarkin is the former editor of Goldmine, CMJ, Relix, and Global Rhythm. As a writer he has contributed to the New York Daily News, JazzTimes, Boston Phoenix, Harp, Mojo, Newsday, Billboard, and many other publications. He is the author of the book Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane and has contributed to The Guinness Companion to Popular Music, All Music Guide, and several other encyclopedias. He has also served as a consultant to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, NARAS, National Geographic Online, and Music Club Records.