[JPL] 2 Collaborators Meld Like Latin and Jazz

r durfee rdurfee2003 at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 20 13:33:29 EST 2006

November 18, 2006
Music Review | 'Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project'
2 Collaborators Meld Like Latin and Jazz 
The pianist Eddie Palmieri took a secondary role in a
gig on Thursday night, something he doesn’t often do.
It was in a Latin jazz group that looks a lot like one
of Mr. Palmieri’s, but was led by the trumpeter Brian
Lynch, who has played with Mr. Palmieri for almost 20

Together, as the Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project,
they have made a new record, “Simpatico”
(ArtistShare). As a busman’s holiday, the record lets
Mr. Lynch put forward some of his own Latin-jazz
compositions, and lets Mr. Palmieri play some
straight-ahead jazz piano. It’s a band leaking with
talent, including the drummer Dafnis Prieto, the
percussionist Pedro Martínez and the trombonist Conrad

The show, at Iridium, made up of pieces from the
record, would have been satisfying enough, even
without Mr. Palmieri. Indeed, in the beginning it was:
Manuel Valera, a young Cuban pianist, played the first
few numbers. 

But when Mr. Palmieri appeared, he demonstrated
something that has nothing to do with form and
everything to do with things that are more primitive
and probably more important: the physical aspects of
sound, and its obverse, empty space. His opening piano
part in “Guajira Dubois” was a standard montuno vamp,
part of Latin music’s alphabet. But when Mr. Palmieri
played it, he sounded like an earth mover: he chose a
tempo ever so slightly slower than normal, used octave
voicings and created a keyboard sound that wasn’t
necessarily loud but had enormous density. 

Later, when he soloed in the tune, he made the music
heave forward and then would stop completely, letting
the rest of the band rush into his silence. When he
returned, he built up so much intensity and presence
with left-hand rhythm that he seemed absolutely free
to do what he wanted with his right. 

Mr. Lynch’s style of trumpet playing owes a lot to the
rhythmic flash and harmonic jolts of bebop language —
a stylish, cerebral thing — and he likes improvising
that way within Cuban clave rhythm. He also likes
writing that way, as demonstrated by a waltz-time tune
the band played called “Slippery,” which he wrote with
Mr. Palmieri. Mr. Palmieri’s contribution was the
chordal structure; Mr. Lynch’s was the spiky melodic
lines on top. 

In the front line of horn players, Mr. Lynch’s foil
was Mr. Herwig on trombone, who phrased in less
bebop-based and more concretely riff-building ways.
Like Mr. Palmieri, he always found a way to start with
very basic phrases but to move them around through
different chords, drive them hard and work up to
moments of exquisite, almost physical tension. 


Roy Durfee
P.O. Box 40219
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87196-0219
rdurfee2003 at yahoo.com

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