Brian Lynch has long been a fan of Latin music. He has collaborated with many of the Big Apple’s Latin musicians on projects, and in 2005 released the Latin-based Conclave on Criss Cross Records. That release set the stage for Lynch’s latest release: Simpatico on the Artist Share label, in which Lynch shares the stage with Latin master pianist Eddie Palmieri.
Lynch and Palmieri have surrounded themselves with some of the best of New York’s Latin talent, especially on the percussion side. You’ll find Johnny Rivera on bongo, Giovanni Hidalgo on congas, and Marvin Diz on timbales, just to name a few. Not to be outdone the jazz community is well represented as well by the likes of Phil Woods, Conrad Herwig, Greg Tardy, and Donald Harrison.
All arrangements and musical director duties are those of Lynch and his commanding clear warm tone on trumpet highlights the CD. Lynch includes 2 classic Palmieri compositions: Azucar and Paginas De Mujer, with the latter featuring vocals by Lila Downs. Downs also does vocal duties and co-composes Que Serra La Vida.
Lynch and Palmieri symbolize the CD’s title by co-composing Freehands, Tema Para Marissa (dedicated to Lynch’s wife), Jazzucar and Slippery. Slippery features a beautiful solo by 75-year-old Phil Woods that is a knockout, as well as a workout on the piano’s keyboard by Palmieri. An added feature on this tune is a string bass solo by Boris Koslov. Straight jazz fans are not ignored on Simpatico either as Lynch’s Jazz Impromptu and Slippery do not disappoint the straight-ahead fan.
Lynch turns 50 this year and has risen from being the trumpeter in the last version of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers to being Phil Woods’ primary horn man for many years now. He is also a major contributor on the NYC Latin scene with Palmieri. The man who was tutored by the best of the jazz masters – Blakey and Woods – is also now a major player in the NYC Latin/salsa scene.
Songs: the Palmieri Effect, Que Sera La Vida, Guarija Dubois, Jazz Impromptu, Paginas De Mujeur, Slippery, Jazzucar, Tema Para Marissa, Freehands
– Jeff Krow