Pianist Marc Copland returns with the New York Trio Recordings Volume 2: Voices, following Modinha (Pirouet Records, 2007). It's the second in the series, with one more to come. Bill Stewart has been replaced by Paul Motian on drums and, considering the music, he's a better fit.
Copland and Peacock composed all the music except for Miles Davis' "All Blues," with the music following two streams: chamber and cool jazz. The zones are wide enough for the trio to fill them with a compact harmonic pulse, subtle shadings and vivid tonal explorations. While each is a craftsman in his own right, there is an easy fluidity and understanding between them, the result of Peacock playing for a long period of time with Copland, and even longer with Motian.
Peacock gently lights up "Vignette," shaping the melody and then letting the chords complement the vamp. Copland gives the melody more room to breathe. At first seeped in the composition, he unravels the notes with enough air and variation to bring in a warm ambience. Motian adds the ornamentation through light flexes on the cymbals and prancing accents.
"Albert" begins snappily. The melody is at the crux of his linear moves, but Copland inverts it through constant changes of pace and direction. Peacock moves from the center for some robust octaves.
"At Night" is top notch. Locked in harmony, the trio interacts intuitively. Copland lets each moment bathe in impressionism that shades every little nuance. His dynamic forge is complemented by Peacock and Motian, who add different texturesthe former, thick and deep, and the latter, scintillating exclamations.
Personnel: Marc Copland: piano; Gary Peacock: bass; Paul Motian: drums.