“Both/And” by Marc Copland and Randy Brecker
With Marc Copland and Randy Brecker - piano and trumpet, respectively - the synergy is so all-embracing, they seem to be joined at the hip. Extremely hip. But to make things even better they are joined here by a legendary rhythm section including Victor Lewis on drums and Ed Howard on bass. The result is an impressive performances that stay with the listener; a set free of stylistic clichs, that never seems to stop searching for - and finding - itself; a wonderful recording of unbelievable imagination; and a lesson in harmonic drama that will stand the test of time. Copland's playing demonstrates an obscure sense of romanticism; nowhere near as obvious as many of his sources, he has been developing a style that is harmonically imaginative yet completely engaging and soothing to the ear. While Brecker adds his crisp, clean trumpet sound and decidedly melodic approach combined to offer an entirely delightful musical expression that could well serve as a beacon for contemporary jazz. Without a doubt the couple Copland/Brecker have delivered one of the most creative recordings of this or any year. This is a very, very special outing for both of them, and for those who hear it. Most remarkable is that, like a classic movie, the more often you listen to it, the more appealing it becomes as you discover the varying colors within. Throughout the five Copland originals, one by Brecker and two standards, there are only fleeting moments of formal solo statements. Even when the focus is obviously on the piano, Brecker is still exploring, usually by contributing some fine back-up comments. And therein lies the beauty of Both/And.
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