Review by Brad Walseth
Masterful Jazz artists Marc Copland, Gary Peacock and Paul Motion come together on this stellar release that reminds me of how wonderful and inspiring Jazz music can be. This second album of trio recordings finds drummer Motion replacing Bill Stewart. I admit to not having heard the first volume (yet), but it is hard to imagine anyone else filling the drum chair as well as Motion does here. Copland and Peacock have played together since the early '90s and Peacock and Motion since dinosaurs roamed the Earth (or so it seems) and their ability to get into a comfort zone with each other makes for an utterly entrancing listening experience.
Critics often compare pianist Copland to Bill Evans, but although they both share an affinity for impressionistic melodicism, Copland clearly has his own voice. I find his lines a bit more angular and his intervals more 'modern.' Peacock of course is well known as an innovative bassist unafraid to push the envelope without erecting monuments to his own genius. Just listen to his percolating bass line on the inspired cover of Miles Davis' "All Blues." And Motion needs no introduction as possibly the most influential drummer in post bop jazz. Motion's use of the drum sticks and brushes to paint colors with, while never forgetting the time, is legendary. With his first fame coming from his work with Evan's famous trio, he seems the perfect choice here.
Sometimes a confluence of exceptional musicians fails for various reasons, but this is one that succeeds. The songs themselves are written primarily by Peacock or Copland, and include compositions previously heard in non-trio settings. It would be simplistic to say that Peacock brings the more rhythmically adventurous, while Copland supplies the dreamier numbers, but needless to say they complement each other very well and achieve a remarkable balance. The three players flow in and out and each other's vibrations seamlessly and create an addictive atmosphere of swirling sound (the title track is a superb example). This is a wonderful recording you will want to listen to again and again, reveling in the fluid interplay of three virtuoso musicians at the top of their game.