In Praise of BL

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been busy working on a couple of websites for my good friend Brian Lynch. In addition to that, I’ve also been spending a fair amount of time at NYU (New York University), subbing for Brian as lead trumpet in, and director of, their Bebop Big Band. It’s been a great experience, as well as a lot of fun, working with these talented young musicians. This afternoon I had the great pleasure of hearing the band play at the Bowery Poetry Club here in New York. They’ve come a long way this semester – the book is quite challenging. They did a great job and I was also proud to be invited to play a couple of tunes with them, while Brian Lynch conducted and soloed with the band from the front.

I’ve admired Brian’s playing for many years; he was actually the first American Jazz trumpet player I ever saw live, back in the early 1990s, at home in Cleethorpes, with the Phil Woods Quintet. He is an inspiration to me, not only as a trumpet player, but in the tremendous attitude he has towards the world around him. Yet again, this afternoon, he completely blew me (and I suspect the assembled few watching the gig) away. The depth of his understanding of the music, along with his seemingly unlimited Jazz vocabulary is simply astonishing. If you haven’t checked out his playing, I heartily recommend that you do. If you haven’t heard him lately, you should really check out some of his recent work, either live or on record. The continued growth in his musical concept is alarming!

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