237

Brian Lynch: Unsung Heroes

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Trumpeter extraordinaire Brian Lynch is always willing, quite rightly, to acknowledge the masters who have gone before him. Some of the finest jazz trumpeters never made it big, while others no longer sit as securely in the minds of jazz fans as they once did. Nevertheless, they are all part, as Lynch writes, of "the jazz trumpet tradition" and their talents as players and composers deserve to be remembered and revisited. Unsung Heroes is Lynch's salute to some of these players. It's a superb album: no mere tribute to past masters, it puts their work firmly in the present—living, breathing, exciting music that is as vibrant in the twenty-first century as it was in the twentieth.

Like Finnish pianist Iiro Rantala's own reflections on past greats, the stunning Lost Heroes (ACT Music, 2011), Unsung Heroes is the work of an exceptionally talented player. Rantala performed solo, but this record features a kick-ass band. Altoist Vincent Herring and pianist Rob Schneiderman are particularly strong, but every player impresses. One of the most stylish solos comes from bassist David Wong on Idrees Sulieman's "Saturday Afternoon At Four," a bop relative of Kurt Weill's "Speak Low."

Lynch's heroes on this album are players whose own work is predominantly from the bebop era and later, men who could play hard and fast but who could also swing, and play with feeling. The writing skills of many of these trumpeters were also exceptional, giving Lynch some terrific compositions to work with, some of which were never recorded by the writers themselves.

Tommy Turrentine's beautiful ballad, "I Could Never Forget You," affords Lynch the opportunity to deliver a masterclass in pure-toned, considered yet emotive playing. Charles Tolliver's "Household of Saud" is a standout ensemble performance as well as featuring one of Lynch's more high-energy solos. Lynch's own tunes are just as enjoyable. "RoditiSamba," dedicated to Claudio Roditi, is smoothly seductive; "Unsung Blues" gives Lynch and Schneiderman the chance to stretch out with a deft lyricism.

This isn't the first time that Lynch has paid tribute to his predecessors: Tribute To The Trumpet Masters (Sharp Nine) appeared in 2000. Unsung Heroes is volume one of an extended project, which includes some fascinating writing by Lynch on his website. The project is a great idea, and on the evidence of this beautiful recording it's also brilliantly executed.

Track Listing: Terra Firma Irma; I Could Never Forget You; Further Arrivals; Saturday Afternoon At Four; Household of Saud; RoditiSamba; Big Red; Unsung Blues; Wetu.

Personnel: Brian Lynch: trumpet, flugelhorn; Vincent Herring: alto saxophone; Alex Hoffman: tenor saxophone; Rob Schneiderman: piano; David Wong: bass; Pete Van Nostrand: drums; Vicente "Little Johnny" Rivero: congas (3, 6).

Title: Unsung Heroes | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Hollistic MusicWorks


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Alto Gusto CD/LP/Track Review Alto Gusto
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Flow CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Originals For the Originals CD/LP/Track Review Originals For the Originals
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Killing Bugs CD/LP/Track Review Killing Bugs
by Kevin Press
Published: November 20, 2017
Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Anybody's Spring" CD/LP/Track Review Anybody's Spring
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House" CD/LP/Track Review 92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 5, 2017
Read "The Dreamer Is the Dream" CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "New Chapter" CD/LP/Track Review New Chapter
by Jim Olin
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Real Feels - Live Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Real Feels - Live Vol. 1
by Mark F. Turner
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Rock Pool Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Rock Pool Mirror
by Barry O'Sullivan
Published: July 19, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor