147

Marc Copland / John Abercrombie: Speak to Me

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Marc Copland / John Abercrombie: Speak to Me 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 respective chording instruments, the harmonies are expansive and overlapping, and often luminous. Melodic lines are interwoven with shimmering complexity over the sustain and resonant glow of chords, giving the overall mood of the set a deeply pensive quality of interactive symbiosis.

Copland and Abercrombie each contribute three tunes. Copland's title cut is joyful in a beautifully subdued manner, leading into Abercrombie's more inward drift on "Seven." Copland's "Falling Again" explores more melancholy terrain, and the pianist's "Talking Blues"—reprised from his quartet date from earlier this year with saxophonist Greg Osby, Crosstalk (Pirouet)—is perhaps the earthiest segment of this beatific set.

Copland's recordings usually include a few well-chosen American Songbook tunes and/or jazz standards, and he carries on the tradition here, with a resplendent cover of "If I Should Lose You," and a brief but edgy take on free jazz pioneer/alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman's "Blues Connotation."

Speak to Me closes out on a note of perfection with Cy Coleman's "Witchcraft, " a tune done famously by vocalist Frank Sinatra, as well as pianist Bill Evans on his classic Portrait in Jazz (Riverside, 1959). Here, it begins with a wandering, translucent rumination before the melody coalesces into a jaunty groove, with piano and guitar taking the conversation to its conclusion in gorgeously nuanced fashion.

Track Listing: Left Behind; Speak to Me; Seven; If I Should Lose You; Blues Connotation; So Long; Falling Again; Talking Blues; Witchcraft.

Personnel: Marc Copland: piano; John Abercrombie: guitar.

Title: Speak To Me | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Pirouet Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Sonder CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Putting Off Death CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "The Fever: The Remastered Epic Recordings" CD/LP/Track Review The Fever: The Remastered Epic Recordings
by Doug Collette
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "True Love Collection" CD/LP/Track Review True Love Collection
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "05:21" CD/LP/Track Review 05:21
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Horizonte" CD/LP/Track Review Horizonte
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Fe" CD/LP/Track Review Fe
by James Nadal
Published: August 30, 2016
Read "Verisimilitude" CD/LP/Track Review Verisimilitude
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 6, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.