On his third release for Sharp Nine, Brian Lynch pays tribute to several influential trumpet stylists, and in the process proves that he also belongs in this elite circle. With two exceptions, the short list of his favorites is connected with the two progenitors of the hard bop genre, Art Blakey and Horace Silver, both of whom Lynch played with extensively. Utilizing a responsive rhythm section of pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Essiet Essiet, and drummer Carl Allen, he plays original compositions celebrating Woody Shaw, Kenny Dorham, Tom Harrell, Blue Mitchell, and Charles Tolliver, as well as material by Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, Thad Jones, and Lee Morgan.
It’s a pleasure to listen to Lynch acknowledge yet ultimately transcend the effect of these giants on his music. The success can be attributed in part to flawless technique on a notoriously obdurate instrument, producing a clear, full sound in all registers. Closely connected to this mastery is his ability to articulate idea after idea in a seemingly effortless, relaxed swing. For example, Lynch’s solo on the opening cut, the sprightly “Woody Shaw,” is pure forward motion, creating excitement without ever sounding hurried or strained. The same kind of feeling applies to “Tribute to Blue (Mitchell),” where his horn sings through two complete solos.
Lynch’s harder side can be heard on his own “Charles Tolliver,” and Morgan’s “Search for the New Land.” Without compromising his overall style, his playing on these tracks has a blues-tinged, restless quality which stands in stark contrast to the near-perfection of his other work.
Track List:Woody Shaw; Eclipse; Bus Stop Serenade (for K.D.); Tom Harrell; Elusive; Search for the New Land; Tribute to Blue (Mitchell); Charles Tolliver; Opening Statement.