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Brian Lynch: Unsung Heroes

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This CD is the tip of the iceberg for a unique, ambitious multi-format project from trumpeter Brian Lynch. It will encompass two more volumes online for download and an interactive DVD. All of the music will be available in a variety of play-along formats. Actual multitrack audio files will be accessible for programs such as GarageBand, so that young musicians can join the recording date. The website is

It all starts with the nine tracks on this CD, whose subtitle is “a tribute to some underappreciated trumpet masters.” Brian Lynch’s valid thesis is that the great jazz trumpet tradition has been created not only by towering figures like Louis and Dizzy and Miles, but by second-echelon players like Tommy Turrentine, Idrees Sulieman, Louis Smith, Claudio Roditi, Kamau Adilifu, Joe Gordon, Ira Sullivan and Charles Tolliver. He plays their songs, like Turrentine’s ballad “I Could Never Forget You.” Here in its recording debut, the composition deserves to become a standard. Lynch also writes songs for these unsung greats, like “Further Arrivals,” dedicated to Adilifu.

Lynch is an articulate trumpet player with his own polished concept, and he does not attempt to mimic the styles of his heroes. His tributes go deeper. He is, for example, very different from Tolliver. Lynch’s sound is lustrous and he phrases with natural finesse; Tolliver plays spiky, crackling loose runs and his sound is rougher. But on Tolliver’s “Household of Saud,” Lynch presents an alternative civilized version of Tolliver’s aggression and excitement. On Lynch’s own “RoditiSamba,” he is in touch with Roditi’s elegant, sensual Brazilian spirit.

Most of all, what makes these tributes authentic is the high level of creative execution throughout Lynch’s sextet. The band includes alto saxophonist Vincent Herring, pianist Rob Schneiderman, bassist David Wong, drummer Pete Van Nostrand, conguero Vicente Rivero and a 21-year-old tenor saxophonist to watch out for, Alex Hoffman.

Originally Published