Marc Copland - David Liebman Quartet: Lunar (2002)
The co-leaders of this date first met back in the 70's, when pianist Marc Copland's instrument of choice was the saxophone. Whereas the teaming of the pianist's trio with sax great Dave Liebman reflects a natural extension of their fairly recent collaboration at the Santa Fe, New Mexico Jazz Festival. With this release, Copeland brings his elegant touch to the forefront, which is a characteristic that intrinsically complements, his partner's lofty excursions on both tenor and soprano saxophones.
They utilize space on Lunar, while also managing to kick up a mild storm atop the rhythm sections' all-encompassing sense of swing. The pianist augments many of these mid tempo pieces with lilting harmonics, a deft right hand, and well-placed chord clusters. Copeland and Liebman (performing on tenor sax) stamp heartfelt balladry all over their duet rendition of the standard "You And The Night And The Music." While drummer Tony Martucci provides the subtle heartbeat via his regimented ride cymbal patterns on Copland's "All That's Left." At this juncture in the program, the soloists' trigger a soothing chain of events amid a progressively climactic instillation of forward motion. You can almost feel the air streaming through Liebman's tenor sax mouthpiece during his performance with Copeland on their duet rendition of John Coltrane's "Naima."
As an addendum to Bob Blumenthal's liner notes, Copland states: "We hope that in opening our hearts, we have touched yours." Thus, Copland's declaration rings loud and clear. Recommended.
Track Listing: 1. Cry Want 2. Lunar 3. Pirouette 4. You And The Night And The Music 5. All That's Left 6. Standoff 7. Brother Ernesto 8. Naima
Personnel: Marc Copland: piano; Dave Liebman: soprano & tenor saxophones; Mike McGuirk: bass; Tony Martucci: drums.