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Marc Copland Trio: Paradiso

Great piano trios, like great string quartets, grow into it. True, there are plenty of examples of great players getting together in a trio setting and making sparks fly, but greatness evolves through steady work, the consummation of parallel instincts among the three players, their roles and instruments. Here we hear a trio moving quickly toward greatness: Copland and bassist Gary Peacock have been working together for off and on for 15 years; Copland has similar history with drummer Billy Hart. Each of them brings a superior sense of melody to the trio, each of them has the technical mastery to realize their ideas, and each is tuned into the others’ sense of musical possibility. They deliver wonderful performances on a clutch of Copland compositions, including the achingly wistful title track and the remarkable “Billy’s Bounce” (different Billy, different Bounce). Charlie Parker’s “Bloomdido” gets a relatively straight reading from the pianist, whose penchant for funk deconstructions of Bird tunes has been a feature of earlier releases.

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