Brian Lynch Quartet, Tribute To The Trumpet Masters

Britt Robson

By Britt Robson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A lone horn in a quartet, paying homage to nine iconic bebop brass masters.

Lynch, a trumpeter who just won a Grammy for a Latin jazz collaboration with his longtime mentor Eddie Palmieri, is fearlessly direct and aggressive. He still bites off nearly more than he can chew on Trumpet Masters, as the lone horn in a quartet paying homage to nine iconic bebop brass masters for one tune apiece, the shortest of them still over six minutes. Bereft of the saxophone's tonal variation, he relies on brash, inventive phrases and compositions (four covers and five Lynch originals) kindred to the style of trumpeter he's honoring. Thus “Woody Shaw” is blistering, diamond-hard bop, while “Tom Harrell” features more sprightly and elliptical lines of attack and Thad Jones's “Ellusive” is a toe-tapping crowd-pleaser. The tour de force is an epic, heaving version of Lee Morgan's “Search for a New Land” that comes at you in waves; the clunker is an overly subdued rendition of Freddie Hubbard's “Eclipse.” Quibblers will note that some legendary bop masters — Dizzy, Miles, Clifford Brown, Fats Navarro — are omitted, but the band, especially pianist Mulgrew Miller, and most of the music is above reproach.