Stephans, Liebman, Copland, Gress: Quartette Oblique (Sunnyside)
Attempting the impossible, Rifftides once again tries to catch up. We all know that is impossible because record companies refuse to accept that jazz is dead; they keep releasing new music. It took too long for me to mention this superb quartet album, which has been out for a year or so. From Dave Liebman’s falling-away tenor saxophone insinuations that introduce Wayne Shorter’s “Nardis” through the concluding exploration of Miles Davis’s “So What” and “All Blues.” Liebman, drummer Michael Stephans, pianist Marc Copland and bassist Drew Gress meld in intriguing versions not only of the two modern classics by Shorter and Davis but also the Schwartz & Deitz Standard “You And The Night And The Music,” Duke Ellington’s “In A Sentimental Mood,” and bassist Gress’s composition “Vesper.” Copland’s harmonic sensitivity and keyboard touch are superb in the Gress piece.
This story appears courtesy of Rifftides by Doug Ramsey.
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