“This is the end of the century, and a lot of music has gone down,” Brian Lynch said several years ago. “I think that to be a straight-ahead jazz musician now means drawing on a wider variety of things than 30 or 40 years ago. Not to play a little bit of this or a little bit of that, but to blend everything together into something that sounds good. It doesn’t sound like pastiche or shifting styles; it’s people with a lot of knowledge.”
Few musicians embody this 21st century credo as profoundly as the 48-year-old trumpet master. A respected insider within both the hardcore bebop and Latin communities, he’s as comfortable negotiating the complexities of clave with Afro-Caribbean pioneer Eddie Palmieri as swinging through advanced harmony with bebop maestro Phil Woods. He’s worked in recent years with Buena Vista Social Club alumnus Barbarito Torres, dance remixer Joe Clausell, and the members of the influential Latin alternative group Yerba Buena. He arranges for Japanese pop star Mika Nakashima and producer Shinichi Osawa, has written string charts for Phil Woods, and has played with such pop luminaries as Maxwell, Prince, and Sheila E.