By Howard Mandel | Published January 2022
Brassman Brian Lynch has been a mainstay of the New York scene for 40 years in bands led by Horace Silver, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Art Blakey, Phil Woods and Eddie Palmieri, among others. Now 65, he means to establish definitive versions of his compositions from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s in Bus Stop Serenade, described as first of a series of his songbooks.
It’s a worthy effort, especially as he’s revisiting pieces, recording them on his own label for better copyright control. Longtime collaborators constitute Lynch’s quintet, and the two-disc album offers two takes on eight of his works (“Keep Your Circle Small” is played only once), differences between the tracks being matters of length and expressive details of the solos. Split between “The Express Route” and “The Alternate Route,” the finely wrought compositions are also presented in different sequences: “24-7,” for instance, opens CD 1 but ends CD 2.
Listeners will turn to this recording for an elegant dose of present-day post-bop. The band works within that sub-genre’s preferences for sophisticated harmonies and piquant lyricism. Lynch’s tone is particularly lovely on flugelhorn, and Snidero is an empathic companion in the front line. Evans is supportive while self-effacing, Kozlov bouyantly dependable, Edwards quick and propulsive, regardless of his habit of splash cymbal accents. Tempi vary from moderate to fast — no problem for Kozlov as he shows in his statement on “Clairevoyance.” Lynch can be rightfully proud.
Songbook Vol. 1: Bus Stop Serenade: Bus Stop Serenade: (CD1) 24–7; Afinique; On The Dot; Bus Stop Serenade; Clairevoyance; Woody Shaw; Before The First Cup; Charles Tolliver; Keep Your Circle Small; (CD 2) On The Dot; Charles Tolliver; Before The First Cup; Woody Shaw; Clairevoyance; Bus Stop Serenade; Afinique; 24–7. (64:44/67:25)
Personnel: Brian Lynch, trumpet, flugelhorn; Jim Snidero, alto saxophone; Orrin Evans, piano; Boris Kozlov, bass; Donald Edwards, drums.
Ordering Info: hollisticmusicworks.com