Jazz CD Reviews
Brian Lynch and Spheres of Influence – Conclave Vol. 2 – Criss Cross
Published on September 13, 2011
Brian Lynch and Spheres of Influence – Conclave Vol. 2 – Criss Cross Jazz 1331, 63:57 ****½:
(Brian Lynch, trumpet; Yosvany Terry, alto sax; Manuel Valera, piano; Luques Curtis, bass; Justin Brown, drums; Pedro Martinez, percussion)
As much as any jazz trumpeter playing today, Brian Lynch’s involvement and credentials in the Latin jazz community are beyond reproach. Back in 2005, Lynch recorded for Criss Cross, Vol. 1 of Conclave. Lynch’s band then was called the Latin Jazz Sextet. Today’s group is named for his 1997 Sharp Nine CD, Sphere of Influence. In late 2006, Lynch brought the finest in New York based Latin stars including the incomparable Eddie Palmieri, together to put out the self-produced Artist Share issue of Simpatico.
Lynch and company are back with Criss Cross and Conclave, Vol. 2 is another winner. Recorded in June, 2010 the latest edition of Conclave is a bubbling cooker. “The Downside of Upspeak” blends Lynch and Terry while the drums and percussion of Justin Brown and Pedro Martinez stirs the pot and pianist Manuel Valera provides tasty piano fills. Lynch, as always, has a hot mid register power that is clean, warm, and inviting. Terry provides a perfect foil as his alto brings a swinging sweetness that invites a trip to the dance floor.
Charles Tolliver’s “Truth” is a late night romantic ballad in which Lynch switches gears to wax lyrical. Drummer Brown’s light touch adds to the introspective mood followed by Valera’s soft touch and Luques Curtis’ bass solo. It’s back to the dance floor for Lynch’s “With a Single Step” as Lynch has a way with percussion that adds to an authentic Afro-Cuban clave.
Miles Davis’ “Solar” is my favorite track on the CD as it has joyful vamp that is shared as the melody and solos are introduced. Percussion blends with the horns and percolate the song’s seasoning. Martinez’ congas are perfectly upfront in the mix. Bueno…
From Lynch’s previous Criss Cross CD, At the Main Event, Lynch has re-arranged “Dance the Way U Want To” with Latin spice.
Brian closes this new edition of Conclave with a mainstream jazz hard bop rendition of Kenny Dorham’s “Blue Friday,” from Kenny’s 1959 Prestige album, Quiet Kenny. Lynch shows off his trumpet talents that he showcased with Phil Woods groups for so many years.
You can feel confident with any Lynch led project, whether it is Latin Jazz or a tribute to the trumpet masters as found on Unsung Heroes or on Tribute to the Trumpet Masters from Sharp Nine in 2000.
Brian is the trumpeter that can cover all the bases…
TrackList: The Downside of Upspeak, Truth, With a Single Step, Magenta’s Return, Solar, Dance the Way U Want To, One for Armida, Blue Friday