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Marc Copland’s ‘Zenith’ frees jazz with intentional feeling

From the first note of Marc Copland’s “Sun At The Zenith,” it’s clear this is no ordinary jazz quartet replicating standards. There is one exceptional standard by Duke Ellington covered by the pianist with trumpeter Ralph Alessi, drummer Joey Baron, and double-bassist Drew Gress. Yet, every one of the six compositions sounds fresh, new, and infinitely deep. Perhaps it’s the…

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Indie Life

In his prodigious output as a leader (more than 40 albums to date) and as a highly valued sideman (Gary Peacock Trio, John Abercrombie Quartet), Marc Copland always seeks a place in the music that takes him somewhere beyond the notes. “For music to really fulfill its function as an art form, it has to get beyond the notes, just…

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Piano: The Environment External & Internal

Since his recording debut in 2006 with reed master Dave Liebman (“Vienna Dialogues“), pianist and composer Bobby Avey has built quite an impressive resumé.  He won the Thelonious Monk Composition in 2011, just months after releasing his first CD as a leader. Also in 2011, he won a grant from Chamber Music America to travel to Haiti to research and record a Vodou Ceremony.  The…

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Among the great American pianist’s extensive discography, his new quartet album is one his best.

Zenith (InnerVoice Jazz) Marc Copland On pianist Marc Copland’s new disc Zenith, the simpatico between him and trumpeter Ralph Alessi is so striking that I had to ask Copland just how much playing the two of them had done together previously. I’d thought that their music-making history was negligible, and it turned out that I was right. “Ralph and I played together up…

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Marc Copland’s Zenith

Until Zenith, the first release on his own label, Inner Voice Jazz, pianist Marc Copland had never played with trumpeter Ralph Alessi, but they prove an ideal match. Joined by bassist Drew Gress (who has long played with both musicians) and drummer Joey Baron (who can play anything with anybody), this might turn out to be a “classic quartet.” Alessi, 53, has…

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Marc Copland: Zenith

Gratefully, pianist Marc Copland keeps things decidedly old-school jazz quartet on Zenith: exploratory, expansive, expressive, impressionistic. And then again, why shouldn’t his music invoke these motifs? His long cred certainly gives itself over to it: He, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Joey Baron comprise legendary guitarist John Abercrombie’s rhythm section. Likewise, Copland and Baron have sustained the subtle muscle alongside master bassist…

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Marc Copland: Zenith

Whenever pianist Marc Copland is a sideman on a session, much less leading the session, there are very high expectations for the music. Whether it is the lustrous sound he gets from the keyboard, which includes his pedalling, the dense harmonies which create shimmering harmonics or the intelligence of his lines and compositions, Copland has a unique voice and musical personality. Zenith meets…

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Das „Marc Copland Zenith Quartett“ setzt einen Meilenstein

Dieses Gipfeltreffen war von Triumph gekrönt. Das musikalische Zusammentreffen eines hochrangigen Quartetts geriet zum Höhepunkt des Modern, des Avantgarde Jazz und war an jedem Instrument luxuriös besetzt. Mit gutem Grund hieß das Gastensemble im Birdland „Marc Copland Zenith Quartett“. Sowohl im klanglichen wie im rhythmischen und im freien Zusammenspiel war der Samstagabend im Neuburger Jazz Club eine Offenbarung. Wie etwa…

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