Perhaps you glance quickly at the song titles on the back cover and haphazardly say to yourself or your phone or your new imaginary friend "What?!"Afro-Blue" again?" and just as haphazardly put the disc down and move on to Billie Eilish. But, if you take a moment-you'll-never-get-back to pause and listen, you'll hear drummer Joey Baron and bassist Drew Gress parachute from the upper ether, already in mid-conversation, laying out a vapor trail framework for Marc Copland's piano to voice the theme with fine sculptor's handsreinventing, re-harmonizingand the alluring crosscurrents of And I Love Her entrancingly emerge.
And what would you expect different from the alumni of the late, path-breaking guitarist John Abercrombie who made it his legend to take the most ancient and familiar and make it sound like he was inventing it right there on the spot? Wherever you dropped the needle or hit play throughout the last fifty or so years, there was Abercrombie and company making things new again.
So "Afro Blue" floats at 6/8 and Herbie Hancock's "Cantaloupe Island" works out from inward as it canters and cha-chas, reaching heights of trio dialogue only a select few have. Bill Evans comes to mind first. But then you refocus on the music and the abstract illuminations and whispery ruminations of Copland's "Might Have Been" lure you in again, only to lose all sense of time and place with a first-time recording of Abercrombie's intimate "Love Letter," Copland's sturdy yet vulnerable "Day and Night," and a sliding, lucid take on the title track, the venerable pop of Lennon/McCartney's "And I Love Her." Exquisite listening to be sure, for those times you need to tune out the world, tune into yourself and breathe anew.
Afro Blue; Cantaloupe Island; Figment; Might Have Been; Love Letter; Day and Night; And I Love Her; Mitzi & Jonny; You Do Something to Me.
Marc Copland: piano; Drew Gress: bass; Joey Baron: drums.