Marc Copland, piano; John Abercrombie, guitar; Kenny Wheeler, trumpet, flugelhorn
A sure hit for these three masters of modern progression. Copland's piano interacts beautifully with Abercrombie's beguiling sensitivity and Wheeler's leisured tone. We are taken to the land of musical pictures on this set, with the compositional honors shared (with the exception of How Deep Is The Ocean) by all three participants. Abercrombie seems set on getting a little raucous on the title track, but there is always the restraint that marks the whole. Still, it is Abercrombie who adds the piquancy, gently pushing toward a groove, and Copland can take the listener to places previously unvisited. Wheeler's rounded (though occasionally bitter) tone remains just on the right side of mournful, and his work on Dark Territory shows his leaning to a deep inner lyricism. The Berlin standard brings out Wheeler's straight-ahead flow, backed by the other two as a rhythm section. Then Abercrombie solos with Copland offering the fills and then it's the other way around with Copland running some elegant lines, Wheeler enters again, and so to bed in a three-way exchange for the finish. Wheeler's Neba shows the man again in his lyrical guise, and Copland winds everything up with an unabashed romantic flourish. Musicians will dig it, as will any fan with a love of reflective beauty.
by Lawrence Brazier
More New Sounds
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, May2002 issue, all rights reserved