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Simpatico by Brian Lynch

Brian Lynch gets complaints about his music.It usually comes from the guys trying to play his music, but it is not something that bothers him. "Conrad Herwig the trombone player on this project told me one day that the part he was trying to play had to be the hardest he had ever seen for a trombone. Was he really upset, or just kidding. Kidding, maybe." So Brian Lynch does not tend to write cookie cutter music, instead he writes emotional, powerful, if slightly complex music. The kind that stays with you for a long while. So it is on his new recording Simpatico on the Artist Share label. Simpatico, is a collaboration with his long time mentor and equally long time friend Eddie Palmieri. The music is contagious and tightly played by a group of musicians well versed in the field of Latin Jazz.

Lynch either wrote or co-wrote all but one of the tracks on this disk and each number is stamped with his very definite and unique musical vision. The disk opens with "The Palmieri Effect" a tribute number to his mentor and this shows off the complexity of the music and the raw emotional power of the music. In fact if you listen hard enough you can hear Palmieri in the background half singing along with music. As a leader Lynch takes the musical high road, leading this large group through all of the twists and turns , highs and lows that well written Latin Jazz can have.

"Que Sera La Vida" written along with vocalist Lila Downs is a haunting , heartfelt ballad that one does not really need to speak the language to understand. "What would life be? Without the sadness of the soul no explanations, without the cold what would life be? Without the darkness, would there e light, without discussion, would there be truth, without the pain would there be joy. Sung slowly and very emotionally by Downs, the music is a wonderful counterpoint to her poignant lyrics.

It is very hard to pick out one or two of the numbers as favorites, first of all they are all to good to be able to pick one or two out, and second why bother when it is this well done who cares. But if I had to try and pick a couple I would say perhaps "Jazz Impromptu" and "the above mentioned "Que Sera La Vida" and "Slippery". "Slippery" sounds pretty much as it is tilted, with Lynch's playing racing along in spots that a man on a ice covered hill, it also features some outstanding bass playing by Boris Kozlov. I could go on and on about this recording but I think you get the idea, it is one of the best Latin Jazz albums out in a long while.

Latin Jazz can be one of two things, either a wonderful reminder why we are all alive and the joy that even heartbreak can bring, or in the hands of those concerned more with profits that emotions just plain awful. Simpatico is , lucky for us, in the first category a wonderful reminder of how music can lift spirits and make us all glad we are alive and lucky enough to have heard music such as this. Simpatico is on Artist Share.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Brian Lynch
  • CD Title: Simpatico
  • Genre: Latin Jazz / Latin Funk
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Artist Share
  • Tracks: The Palmieri Effect, Que Seria La Vida, Guajira Dubois, Jazz Impromptu, Paginas De Mujer, Slippery, Jazzucar, Tema Para Marissa, Freehands
  • Musicians: Brian Lynch (trumpet) Eddie Palmieri (piano) Lila Downs (voice) Phil Woods (alto sax) Donald Harrison (alto sax) Yosvany Terry (alto sax) Gregory Tardy (tenor sax) Conrad Herwig (trombone) Mario Rivera (baritone sax) Edsel Gomez (piano) Giovanni Hidalgo (congas) Pedro Martinez (congas) Little Johnny Rivero (bongo) Dafnis Prieto (drums) Robby Ameen (drums) Marvin Diz (timbales) Pete Rodriguez (maracas) Adam Rogers (acoustic guitar) Joe Fiedler (trombone) Boris Kozlov (bass) Ruben Rodriguez (bass) Luques Curtis (bass)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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