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Keith Copeland: Round Trip

This is drummer Copeland’s second outing in the company of guitarist Tommy Halferty and bassist Ronan Guilfoyle, whom Copeland met in 1992 on his first teaching excursion to Ireland. The affinities the three recognized in one another are very much in evidence here, as the trio picks its way through nine compositions, including two by Guilfoyle, on their second release for SteepleChase. Guilfoyle’s pieces are the product of an enterprising ear: atmospheric, harmonically adventurous, with an attractively ambiguous ease about them. Guilfoyle also leads the way into Oscar Pettiford’s “Tricotism,” which shows the trio are no strangers to the straightahead. The set concludes with a striking pairing of Monk’s “‘Round Midnight,” taken at a blistering tempo, and Coltrane’s “Resolution.” Copeland establishes the tone of the set with his brightly swung work on Ornette’s “Round Trip;” Halferty occasionally mists his tone with a touch of chorus, but keeps his work clearly focused on the changes.

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