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Brian Lynch startles less with technique than overall approach. There’s no shortage of craft, but it’s wrapped in layers of intelligence, intuition and passion. His trumpet playing incorporates the innovations of past players, but melds them into a directness of sound that moves easily from be-bop hot to cool blue without pretense. His tone has a soft, rounded fullness that’s all the more impressive for not trying to impress. Solos pour out with an unassuming mindfulness.

Last year’s Sharp Nine Records release, “Tribute to the Trumpet Masters,” shows this refreshingly humble approach clearly. The CD culls tunes from Freddie Hubbard, Thad Jones, Lee Morgan and Booker Little, then intersperses Lynch’s own originals in similar bop-oriented style to produce straight-ahead lead lines and solos that, more than anything, have great artistic sense. The grooves come out purring and gleaming, like a refurbished, tuned-up antique car clipping along the highway.

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