BRIAN LYNCH QUARTET with MELVIN RHYNE
Scan the jazz mags and you’ll find ad after article espousing the flashy talents of the next young trumpet phenom. Though you probably won’t find much on Brian Lynch–a little older and a lot paler than the current fashion dictates–he can outplay the lot of them. Lynch plays a Monette trumpet (the same obliquely angled, matte-finished, Flash Gordon-styled horn used by Wynton Marsalis) to shape his poised, sinewy, and slightly sweetened tone. He then pours out solo after solo in the mold of Lee Morgan via Woody Shaw, structuring his clean-lined solos to generate emotional as well as intellectual excitement. The last trumpeter to play in the late Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Lynch now splits his time between two bandleaders as demanding as Blakey–bebop survivor Phil Woods and salsa innovator Eddie Palmieri. Lynch’s ability to thrive in both situations–each of which demands a different approach to the beat–reveals something else about the range of his talents. If Lynch were performing in the focused, one-horn-with-rhythm setting of his strong new album, Keep Your Circle Small (Sharp Nine Records), I would heartily recommend your attendance. But since he appears in a power-packed quartet starring organist Melvin Rhyne, I insist on it. Rhyne offers a vivid contrast to the florid splendor that characterizes the Jimmy Smith School of the Hammond B-3. He understates rather than emphasizes the instrument’s idiosyncrasies: whereas in most bands the organ sprawls across the stage, in Rhyne’s hands it shrinks back to become another voice in the ensemble, and gains a certain allure in the process. Before Lynch left Milwaukee for New York, he performed often with Rhyne (who moved to Milwaukee from Indianapolis in the 60s after gaining recognition in Wes Montgomery’s trio), and their reunion promises not only some fireworks but also plenty of subtler interaction. Friday, 10 PM, Bop Shop, 1807 W. Division; 235-3232. NEIL TESSER
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.