All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

147

Marc Copland / John Abercrombie: Speak to Me

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
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

Both/And

Both/And

Marc Copland
Through The Window

Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
Bailey's Bundles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Better By Far

Better By Far

Innervoice Jazz
2017

buy
Nightfall

Nightfall

Innervoice Jazz
2017

buy
Zenith

Zenith

Innervoice Jazz
2016

buy
Some More Love Songs

Some More Love Songs

Pirouet Records
2012

buy
Crosstalk

Crosstalk

Pirouet Records
2011

buy
Speak To Me

Speak To Me

Pirouet Records
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Dawn CD/LP/Track Review
Dawn
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Life Of CD/LP/Track Review
Life Of
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun CD/LP/Track Review
Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun
by Gareth Thompson
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Enso CD/LP/Track Review
Enso
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Let Your Light Shine On CD/LP/Track Review
Let Your Light Shine On
by Chris May
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "Such A Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Scratches Of Spain" CD/LP/Track Review Scratches Of Spain
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "Contra la indecision" CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "Directions" CD/LP/Track Review Directions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "The Deep" CD/LP/Track Review The Deep
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: July 4, 2017
Read "Black Swan" CD/LP/Track Review Black Swan
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 17, 2018