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Wednesday, November 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 15.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Daily
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Milwaukee trumpeter Brian Lynch has gigged with jazz greats like Art Blakey
Bebop from Brew City
A stylistic chameleon.

Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Brian Lynch released Spheres of Influence in 1997. The title is a statement about Lynch's musical style, which ranges from straight-ahead bebop and driving hard bop to Latin jazz and world fusion.

"I love it all," Lynch says. "Playing on a montuno with a salsa orchestra or playing a bebop line. It's like turning an object around and seeing different facets of it -- and the object is the music."

Raised in Milwaukee, Lynch began playing at age 16. He graduated from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music before heading to New York, embarking on a career that would soon find him working with jazz legends. After playing with Horace Silver in the early '80s, he became a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and later Phil Woods' bebop quintet.

On May 1, Lynch brings his vibrant tone and rhythmic flash to UW for the final Isthmus Jazz Series concert of the 2013-14 season. Backing him will be the UW Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Johannes Wallmann, and the UW Honors Jazz Band.

Expect a dazzling show of virtuosity, stylistic variation and soul.

Band leader on 18 albums and sideman on countless more, Lynch is one of the top trumpeters in jazz. Pairing up with Afro-Caribbean pioneer Eddie Palmieri on the 2006 album Simpatico netted him a Grammy in the Latin jazz category. A lively fusion of Latin rhythms and authentic jazz, the album is packed with Lynch originals. It’s also a symbolic passing of the torch credited to the Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project.

A more recent gem is 2011's Unsung Heroes, on which Lynch pays tribute to lesser-known trumpet masters like Joe Gordon, Tommy Turrentine, Charles Tolliver and Kamau Adilifu. The result, in Lynch's words, is "unpretentious, straight-ahead jazz by artists without whom jazz would be impoverished yet who have seemed to fly under the radar."

Fans of straight-ahead fare will also enjoy 2004's Brian Lynch Meets Bill Charlap. On that album, Lynch also plays flugelhorn. Brilliant solos and the chemistry between Lynch and pianist Charlap breathe new life into ballads, bebop and blues standards such as Rodgers and Hart's "My Heart Stood Still" and Charlie Parker's "Cheryl."

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