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Marc Copland: Alone (2009)

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Marc Copland: Alone With solo piano, the pure essence of the musician's artistry is revealed. In the case of Marc Copland's Alone, that revelation is enthralling.

Copland has risen to the lightly populated top tier of jazz pianists on the strength of his three profile-boosting New York Trio albums, with shifting line-ups including bassists Gary Peacock
Gary Peacock
Gary Peacock
b.1935
bass
and Drew Gress
Drew Gress
Drew Gress
b.1959
bass
, and drummers Paul Motian
Paul Motian
Paul Motian
1931 - 2011
drums
and Bill Stewart
Bill Stewart
Bill Stewart
b.1966
drums
. Copland's style is characterized by an inward feel, an obliqueness—especially on his original tunes—and a complexity that, rather than falling into the overly intellectual or off-putting, is instead oddly enchanting and always beautiful.

Alone opens with Mal Waldron
Mal Waldron
Mal Waldron
1926 - 2002
piano
's "Soul Eyes." The pianist has a special genius for going deep and revealing new facets of familiar tunes, whether it's Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
' "All Blues," which Copland covered on both Voices (2007) and Insight (2009), or "Taking a Chance On Love," from Modhinha (2006), all on Pirouet Records. Copland explores the melodic nuances of these gems, buffing them up with an alluring harmonic shine, and he is no less adept when playing solo, with the Waldron classic here, along with the Sammy Cahn/Axel Stordahl/Paul Weston tune "I Should Care" and Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
b.1933
saxophone
's "Fall."

The surprise of Copland's ongoing journey of discovery with Alone's non-originals is his inclusion of three Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell
b.1943
vocalist
tunes, not from her "hits" catalog, (it's hard to imagine the pianist covering "Big Yellow Taxi"), but some of the Canadian songstress' lesser-known jewels. Like Copland, Mitchell's artistry has always had a cerebral accessibility, rising well above the run-of-the-mill in her milieu. "I Don't Know Where I Stand," "Rainy Night House," and "Michael From Mountains" are culled from Mitchell's late-sixties, early-seventies peak of popularity. Copland's exploration of the poetry and off-kilter sophistication of Mitchell's musical world is mesmerizing.

Alone is a beginning-to-end gorgeous work of art, solo piano at its highest level.


Track Listing: Soul Eyes; I Don't Know Where I Stand; Night Whispers; Into the Silence; Rainy Night House; I Should Care; Fall; Blackboard; Michael From Mountains; Hi Li Hi Lo.

Personnel: Marc Copland: piano.

Record Label: Pirouet Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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