Marc Copland (p), John Abercrombie (g), Kenny Wheeler (tp, flh)
Reference: CHR 70122 CD
Bar code: 0608917012224
The second release of this marvelous trio. Each of these men are well established leaders in their own right. Kenny Wheeler, giant of European Jazz, composer, truly original improviser, with an individual sound and approach to music that will enter your soul instantly; John Abercrombie, a remarkable guitarist, well known for his collaborations with Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette, known for his work as a leader since many years, but also known from groups with Charles Lloyd and many others. The pianist that initiated the trio: Marc Copland, one of the real poets of the instrument. These three men created a transparent music that balances on the edge, that is strong at some times, vulnerable at other moments; many times surprising, mostly lyrical, often melancholy, but always real. The linear, counterpoint approach is strengthened by the absence of bass and drums. Three instruments, weaving their lines together into an intricate patchwork of golden melodies.
This time, producer Hein Van de Geyn took the band into a lovely little church in Tilburg (Holland). Here they found the right atmosphere, a truly exceptional Steinway, and the acoustics to record the music in the best way. During two relaxed, yet intense days the music was put down on tape and was later mixed in the excellent studio LeRoy in Amsterdam. Similar to the first recording of the trio, we have a repertoire that gives us compositions of all three players, and a very special rendition of Nat Adderley’s famous song “Work Song” as well as one tune from the standard repertoire: “Taking A Chance On Love”. A magic band, a magic recording.
"Individual expression is an undeniably important part of jazz; it has certainly worked wonders for Lester Young, Cecil Taylor, Pat Metheny, Chet Baker and a variety of other distinctive, instantly recognizable heavyweights. But teamwork is also quite important; John Coltrane's modal recordings were not only great because of his mighty powers as a soloist, but also because of the strong rapport he enjoyed with sidemen like pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones. And teamwork is definitely a positive thing on Brand New, which finds pianist Marc Copland forming a cohesive trio with guitarist John Abercrombie and trumpeter/flugelhornist Kenny Wheeler.
Neither drums nor bass are used on this 2004 date, and neither are missed -- Copland, Abercrombie and Wheeler say everything that needs to be said, and they say it in a very reflective, calm fashion. Anyone looking for an album of aggressive, high-energy performances is advised to look elsewhere -- Brand New is all about contemplation, and that holds true whether the trio is embracing original material (which dominates this post-bop CD) or interpreting two well-known standards: Vernon Duke's "Taking a Chance on Love" and Nat Adderley's "Jive Samba." Both of those tunes have, on many occasions, become vehicles for hard, exuberant, intense swinging, but not on Brand New; throughout the album, it's evident that Copland, Abercrombie and Wheeler would rather stop and smell the roses. It's also evident that they maintain a strong chemistry throughout this release, which falls short of outstanding but is still a solid and meaningful demonstration of the sort of good things that can happen when three talented musicians are in sync."
Alex Henderson -All Music Guide"