The Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project

Released November 16, 2006

Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album 2007




This project is a culmination of one of the most significant and rewarding relationships of my musical life; my work with the maestro, the Sun of Latin Music, Eddie Palmieri. Over the nearly twenty years I’ve had the blessing of playing and collaborating with Eddie, we’ve forged a unique and fruitful bond on the bandstand, in the recording studio, and as close friends. Eddie is one of my greatest mentors and a most beloved figure in my life. I’m very elated about having this opportunity to pay homage to this living legend and work with him to create new music together.
I’ve also taken this opportunity to include as a special invited guest for this project another legendary figure, who I’ve had the honor of a close association with for the last 13 years as a member of his quintet; the great Phil Woods. Phil is a featured soloist on several of the compositions of this CD. The other very special guest for the project is the sensational singer and songwriter Lila Downs, who I’ve collaborated with on a new song especially written for this project.
Also featured on the recording will be trombonist Conrad Herwig (who I co-lead the “Latin Side Of…” group with), alto saxophonist (and fellow Art Blakey alumnus) Donald Harrison, and the fabulous percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo, all colleagues of mine in Eddie Palmieri’s Afro-Caribbean Jazz All-Stars. Among the other stellar musicians also on board will be the fantastic percussionist Pedro Martinez, the great drummers Robby Ameen and Dafnis Prieto, and nonpareil bassists Ruben Rodriguez and Boris Kozlov, all regular collaborators in my groups and recording projects.
I invite you to join me in sharing an amazing and powerful musical journey in seeing how Iput this project together. I’ve pulled out all the stops to provide you, the participant, with total access to the process of putting a major recording project together, and how I as a performer prepare for it. You’ll have access to everything from my compositional sketches to audio and video conversations with Eddie and myself, and recordings of band practice sessions woodshedding the music. The music student will find much to benefit from the online lessons, downloadable exercises, and my weblog practice journal. You don’t have to be a musician though, to look over my shoulder with Artist Share and be a participant in this historic recording.

Track Listing:

1. The Palimeri Effect (Brian Lynch) 7:53

2. Que Sería la Vida (Lila Downs / Brian Lynch) 5:25

3. Guajira Dubois (Brian Lynch) 8:51

4. Jazz Impromptu (Brian Lynch) 6:03

5. Páginas de Mujer (Eddie Palmieri) featuring: Eddie Palmieri 8:39

6. Slippery (Brian Lynch) 8:18

7. Jazzucar (Brian Lynch / Eddie Palmieri) 8:24

8. Tema Para Marissa (Brian Lynch / Eddie Palmieri) 6:15

9. Freehands (Brian Lynch / Eddie Palmieri) 6:50


Brian Lynch: trumpet

Eddie Palmieri: piano

Lila Downs: vocals

Phil Woods: alto saxophone

Donald Harrison: alto saxophone

Conrad Herwig: trombone

Giovanni Hidalgo: congas

Dafnis Prieto: drums

Yosvany Terry: alto saxophone
Gregory Tardy: tenor saxophone, clarinet
Mario Rivera: baritone sax
Boris Kozlov: acoustic bass
Ruben Rodriguez: baby bass
Luques Curtis: acoustic bass
Robby Ameen: drums
Adam Rogers: acoustic guitar
Joe Fielder: additional trombone

Pedro Martinez: congas, bongo, campaña, coro

Little Johnny Rivero: bongos, cowbell

Edsel Gomez: paino, organ

Marvin Diz: timbales

Pete Rodriguez: maracas, guiro

Recorded Nov. 23, 25, 26, Dec. 5, 2005, at Bennett Studios, Englewood, NJ
Additional Recording at Bass Hit Studios, New York, NY

Produced by Brian Lynch

Mixed by Brian Lynch and David Darlington

Mastered by Tom Carr

Principal Photography: Nick Ruechel
Videography, Web Photos and New Media Consultant: Gary Stager
Design: Christian Ericson


Two decades of working as a highly accomplished trumpeter in Eddie Palmieri’s Latin jazz band has culminated for Brian Lynch with this completely ravishing recording alongside his musical mentor. While the name of the group might raise the question of “who’s on first?”, rest assured that this is an inspired collaboration with the less-celebrated Lynch firmly at the helm. Most of the tunes are his, and the versions of Palmieri’s pieces are marked by Lynch’s hand. In fact, this album marshals some playing from Palmieri, particularly on the tumbling “The Palmieri Effect,” which opens the album with a roar from Palmieri’s piano, that I’ve missed from some recent discs under Palmieri’s leadership. 
While the program of Simpatico is clearly Latin jazz and Palmieri’s salsified McCoy Tynerisms are resplendently prominent throughout, there are lovely selections that wouldn’t be expected on a Palmieri album. One example is the Lynch original “Jazz Impromptu,” which has a sound you’d expect from a hard-blowing Blue Note session from decades ago. The bop roots in Lynch’s original compositions are even evident in a guajira-chacha like “Guajira Dubois,” where guest alto saxophonist Phil Woods, hardly a supreme Latin jazzman, brings an interesting bop sensibility to the proceedings.  The seventeen musicians (in addition to the superstar Palmieri) are all playing at the top of their game, bringing out an acute brilliance in Lynch’s playing that I’ve never heard so thrillingly projected. But the biggest surprise among this crowd of talent is the Mexican-American diva Lila Downs. Her vocals have a dusky sensuality and subtle understatement that compels re-visioning just how extroverted a great Latin jazz vocalist need be. Lynch may have revolutionized the already rising career of Downs by showcasing her in a context so far removed from her own recordings, which are deeply rooted in traditional Mexican song. 
There’s a move afoot in the jazz world to expand the parameters of Latin jazz, with Hilary Noble, Rebecca Cline and Dafnis Prieto among the prime instigators. In his own sweet way, in spite of being less radical conceptually in breaking out of a traditional Latin jazz style than those three musicians, Lynch is triumphantly pushing Latin jazz boundaries. This is a magnificent recording, whatever label you pin on it, and it makes you hope for more Lynch collaborations with his mentor in the near future.

Norman Weinstein (AllAboutJazz)