Thursday, March 06, 2014

add 0786 Marc Copland

Individual expression is an undeniably important part of jazz; it has certainly worked wonders for Lester Young, Cecil Taylor, Pat Metheny, Chet Baker and a variety of other distinctive, instantly recognizable heavyweights. But teamwork is also quite important; John Coltrane's modal recordings were not only great because of his mighty powers as a soloist, but also because of the strong rapport he enjoyed with sidemen like pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones. And teamwork is definitely a positive thing on Brand New, which finds pianist Marc Copland forming a cohesive trio with guitarist John Abercrombie and trumpeter/flugelhornist Kenny Wheeler. Neither drums nor bass are used on this 2004 date, and neither are missed -- Copland, Abercrombie and Wheeler say everything that needs to be said, and they say it in a very reflective, calm fashion. Anyone looking for an album of aggressive, high-energy performances is advised to look elsewhere -- Brand New is all about contemplation, and that holds true whether the trio is embracing original material (which dominates this post-bop CD) or interpreting two well-known standards: Vernon Duke's "Taking a Chance on Love" and Nat Adderley's "Jive Samba." Both of those tunes have, on many occasions, become vehicles for hard, exuberant, intense swinging, but not on Brand New; throughout the album, it's evident that Copland, Abercrombie and Wheeler would rather stop and smell the roses. It's also evident that they maintain a strong chemistry throughout this release, which falls short of outstanding but is still a solid and meaningful demonstration of the sort of good things that can happen when three talented musicians are in sync.

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