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Copland, Marc: Better By Far

I first got to know the music of American pianist/composer Marc Copland a few years ago with his album titled Crosstalk, released in 2011. Fast forward a few years to 2016 and his disc titled Zenith which was another excellent take on modern jazz. Well, Copland and his band are back with the new album Better By Far and folks it is another stunner!

As with Zenith the quartet consists of Marc Copland (piano), Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Drew Gress (double bass) and Joey Baron (drums).

Better By Far is another top shelf jazz album released this year. This is clearly a band effort with no one musician monopolizing the spotlight. The melodies are gorgeous and the musicianship from all the band members is tremendous. The band often exhibits a nuanced subtle touch but there are other moments when the playing really swings like the riveting "Who Said Swing?" where the sound is slightly discordant yet melodic at the same time. The trumpet and piano are album highlights and the drumming of Baron adds to the music's complexity. The opening track "Day and Night" is another swinging tune with the melodic soundscape filled with intricacies exemplified by the trumpet, piano and bass solos. One of my favourite songs is the delightful title track featuring elegant piano and trumpet solos. The trumpet playing of Alessi is really beyond words as his gentle notes float like clouds in a soothing wind. Music is said to be good for the soul and this song is definite proof of that. The album's only cover is a new rendition of the Thelonious Monk tune "Evidence" where the rhythm section makes itself present with great bass and drums. The cymbal work is really impressive here and when you throw in awesome trumpet, piano and bass solos the result is stunning.

Contemporary jazz does not get much better than this. Really, if you are a fan of jazz music you will want this in your collection. Preferable sooner rather than later.

Track Listing:
1. Day and Night
2. Better By Far
3. MR DJ
4. Gone Now
5. Twister
6. Room Enough for Stars
7. Evidence
8. Dark Passage
9. Who Said Swing?

Added: May 20th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 1777
Language: english

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