Philippe Vincent / Jazz Magazine No. 756 February 2023 / France
“One of today’s great pianists….Fresh, powerful, sensitive: this is without doubt one of the best quartet recordings in recent memory.”
Marc Copland, at 74 years old, has nothing more to prove. He’s played with the greatest, recorded superb discs and is recognized as one of today’s great pianists. He can play music free of any constraints, and choose his preferred partners. His old friend Drew Gress is on bass here, along with two younger musicians how bring along their energy: the excellent drummer Mark Ferber and the surprising Belgian-American Robin Verheyen. The latter’s sound and fluidity on tenor brings him in line with Stan Getz in his best moments Dukish) and an intense passion to play that comes from the guts (Round She Goes).
Copland is without doubt in charge of this, the best quartet he’s ever had. For most bands the shadow of the studio tends to sanitize the music, but there’s none of that here. These four players recorded half the album in “live” conditions, playing a set as if they were in a club, without resting between the tunes. The result is an incredible liveliness, and the tunes are played with a sense of interaction that gives their exchanges a fluidity and spontaneity one would like to hear more often. Add to that a meticulously chosen repertoire that fits them like a glove, comprised of three standards, three tunes from Copland and three from Verheyen. Fresh, powerful, sensitive: this is without doubt one of the best quartet recordings in recent memory.