February 27, 2024

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CD review: Marc Copland Quartet – Someday 2022: Video, CD cover

As the pandemic winds down and music re-emerges in 2022, Marc Copland has released his first quartet CD in several years, featuring some of the finest talents on the New York scene. Copland feels that this is one of his best recordings ever, and after listening, we can see why!

And hardly any review of a Copland album can do without the name of this bassist/composer.

These two were also linked for decades (contemporaneously and longer than with Keith Jarrett), and Copland takes up again, for the fourth time, one of his pieces that sounds like a through ball for Peacock – but which he never recorded with him. “Round she goes”.

The title aptly describes its fluffy, “transparent” theme, spinning over an ostinato. He has recorded it solo (on Time within Time, 2004), in a trio (Some Love song, 2005); In 2022, he returns to the slower pace of his 2002 debut.

But even more appropriately than Greg Osby’s alto then, it is articulated today by Robin Verheyen’s soprano. The Belgian-American saxophonist, although he’s been playing with the bandleader for ten years, makes his studio debut with him here (on the other hand, Copland appears on his 2018 When the Birds Leave).

And when the pianist, who really had saxophone greats at his side, says: “Robin is my favorite tenor and soprano saxophonist”, then one should not underestimate this because of the cliché – it can be understood from the sounding results.

Verheyen, 39, plays an at times powerful soprano but more intonationally confident than one of his renowned predecessors at the post (his also-teacher Dave Liebman). His tenor sounds pleasingly un-Coltranesque.

Verheyen’s extras for this session are a ballad-like salute to Duke Ellington (“Dukish”) and an absolute gem: “Encore”.

It is based on a cantus firmus, an “old European”-sounding tone sequence over 4 bars each. Pauses play a big role here; the first bar contains three tones, the second three four, the third again three, and the fourth manages with two tones.

The tones fall on the beats, sometimes they are roughened dissonantly by soprano and piano. This touching garland is rocked by solos that are less improvisation than embellishment, while the drums slowly build up in the back.

Yes, in jazz terminology one has to speak of “drum solo against riff” here, but it sounds a lot more like “Arvo Pärt with drums”.

You don’t shake something like that out of the blue, it requires concentration and dedication. And after this “challenging material”, as Marc Copland writes in the album’s press release, it was time to “swing with a comfortable groove” again.

The choice fell on “Let’s cool one” by Thelonious Monk, and they swing with grace & nonchalance, as well as with the help of Miles Davis’ “Nardis” to finish.

It’s not only recorded so “transparently” (but also played in such a nuanced way) that you wonder what the rooms at the recording location (The Samurai Hotel, NYC) look like.

1. Someday my Prince will come 05:58
2. Spinning Things 08:04
3. Dukish 06:48
4. Let’s cool one 07:34
5. Round she goes 09:07
6. Encore 04:03
7. Day and Night 10:12
8. Nardis 07:33

Marc Copland (p)
Robin Verheyen (ss, ts)
Drew Gress (b)
Mark Ferber (dr)

New CD – 2022 – Buy from here

Someday | Marc Copland

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