Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Marc Copland: John

11

Marc Copland: John

By

Sign in to view read count
Marc Copland: John
Pianist Marc Copland crossed paths with guitarist John Abercrombie in the early '70s, playing in drummer Chico Hamilton's group. Copland was, at the time, a saxophonist. The collaboration there began a fifty year friendship and multiple Abercrombie/Copland collaborations . Abercrombie passed away in 2017. John is Copland's eulogy for him, solo piano renditions of a set of his friend and mentor's compositions

In 2018 Copland also released a tribute to another late partner in music, bassist Gary Peacock, with Gary (Illusions Music), a set that: ..."just sort of rolled off my tongue, played itself," Copland says. "With John, he continues, "I felt somehow awkward in the studio—nothing seemed to flow right. After a recording is done, to prepare for mastering requires repeated listening in order to select takes and decide the sequence. It was months before I dared listen, and then I'd turn it off in disgust, so unhappy was I with the results. After several weeks and many failed attempts I finally took a deep breath and doggedly went through everything several times. As the days went by, the fog lifted. I was kind of stunned. I wasn't sure anyone would agree, but it seemed we had something special."

Eulogies are a tough task (though Copland doesn't say he considered the recording as such), and the pianist's initial lack of confidence in the success of his effort is understandable. But in the end, he was right. He had created something extraordinarily special, perhaps his most beautiful solo album, in a discography featuring several gems of the genre—the previously mentioned Gary, and Nightfall (Inner Voice Jazz, 2017), Alone (Pirouet Records, 2009), Time Within Time (Hatology, 2005) and Poetic Motion (Sketch, 2002).

The sound of John is often solemn, but rarely sad—more a celebration than a lament. Copland's effortless elegance and refined delicacy of touch are on full display, and a straight-through listen of the music leaves the feeling of having experienced a suite illuminated with reverence and wonder, and love. Copland is—and Abercrombie was—a genius at exploiting advanced harmonic ideas, expressing them with a disarming complexity/simplicity dynamic that makes the music so alluring, so completely lacking in pretense. Copland creates the loveliest of sounds here, for—and inspired by—an old friend.

Track Listing

Timeless; Isla; Flip Side; Sad Song; Avenue; Sunday School; Remember Hymn; Love Letter; Vertigo.

Personnel

Album information

Title: John | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Illusions Mirage

Comments

Tags

Concerts


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

In Duo
David Liebman, Jeff Williams
Two Moons
Michelle Lordi
Homage
Michael Weiss
Being
Chris Rottmayer

Popular

Jazz Hands
Bob James
Esengo
London Afrobeat Collective
Light Streams
John Donegan - The Irish Sextet

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.