Pianist Marc Copland--who, oddly, began his jazz career as a saxophonist--took an artistic leap forward with his three New York Trio recordings on Pirouet Records. Employing a rotating crew of bassists with Gary Peacock, Drew Gress, and drummers Paul Motian and Bill Stewart, the pianist rose to a higher profile via his nearly unsurpassed musical excellence. The pianist interpreted standards (and some not-so-standards), along with his own top-flight original compositions, in conjunction with an astute marketing choice of releasing, over the course of three years, this triptych of similarly handsomely packaged outings, much in the fashion of Brad Mehldau's five ...read more
Seven years and a handful of albums under his own name separate pianist Marc Copland's Some Love Songs (Pirouet, 2005) and this winning sequel session. Copland reconvened the same trio from the original date--with ever-busy bassist Drew Gress and on-the-rise drummer Jochen Rueckert--and followed a similar programming formula, opening with a Joni Mitchell tune, closing with a Victor Young classic, giving a nod to Richard Rodgers along the way and hitting a trio of other songs that fit the thematic bill. While love songs are the order of the day, this isn't a sedate, run-of the-mill run-through ...read more
There is no telling what an imaginative musician such as saxophonist Dave Liebman might do if he were given the kind of room to maneuver--to let his soul soar free--as pianist Marc Copland affords him on Impressions. It is as if the pianist gifted the saxophonist with a very large and empty canvas for Liebman to paint a musical landscape. Liebman needs no further invitation to wander off into the ocean of undiscovered sound. The saxophonist assumes the persona of a blithe spirit as he takes off on his musical odyssey. The ineffable spirit of John Coltrane appears to fill ...read more
Pianist Marc Copland and guitarist John Abercrombie played together for the first time in the 1970s, in drummer Chico Hamilton's group. This was when Copland was playing saxophone, before his seemingly unlikely but very successful switch to piano. Nearly forty years later, the two artists still find opportunities for musical hook-ups, contributing to extraordinary recordings like Copland's Another Place (2008) and Contact's Five on One (2010)--quartet and quintet offerings, respectively, and both for Germany's Pirouet Records. With Speak to Me, the pair explores the more intimate duo setting.In the hands of these two top level veterans, on their ...read more
Plenty of artists explore that most naked of musical couplings, the duo, but few have mined its intimate potential the way pianist Marc Copland has. Since 2003, the light-of-touch, impressionistically lithe pianist has put out no less than six duo records amongst the more than 15 albums he's released on half a dozen labels--though since 2007, with the exception of a couple reissues, he's remained steadfastly aligned with Germany's increasingly prestigious Pirouet label. Speak to Me isn't Marc Copland's first recording with guitarist John Abercrombie; that dates back to Second Look (Savoy, 1996). Copland regrouped that quartet ...read more
Pianist Marc Copland is widely admired for his harmonically astute writing, imaginative interpretations of standards, and sensitivity as a sophisticated soloist. The aesthetic foundation of Copland's expressionistic style can be traced to the poetic lyricism of Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, and though the same could be said of many contemporary pianists, Copland's singular approach to the tradition sets him apart from his peers. The German Pirouet label has been copiously documenting Copland's oeuvre since 2005; his burgeoning discography boasts numerous collaborations with mainstream luminaries like John Abercrombie, David Liebman, and Gary Peacock. The quartet featured on Crosstalk ...read more
Rather than form a longstanding band that can soak up his musical vision over a period of years, pianist Marc Copland thrives in a universe of rotating players that keeps things fresh and spontaneous. On his three outstanding New York Trio Recordings, Copland switched bassists (Gary Peacock, Drew Gress) and drummers (Paul Motian, Bill Stewart), versatile players who are able to embrace--in their distinct ways--the subtle interplay and remarkably elastic give and take that are a big part of pianist's approach. Copland was also part of the highwire collective Contact--an all-star ensemble, with no star outshining any other--that produced the ...read more
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