579

Marc Copland/Gary Peacock: What It Says

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Marc Copland/Gary Peacock: What It Says With a brooding approach that is nonetheless elegant in its delicacy, pianist Marc Copland teams up for yet another series of outstanding duets, this time with double-bassist Gary Peacock. What It Says represents some of Copland's most impressionistically abstract work and, for Peacock, his most successful duet outing this side of his work with Ralph Towner.

The pairing of Peacock and Copland is not exactly new; Peacock played on Copland's 1998 Savoy date, Softly , albeit in more traditional trio, quartet and quintet settings. By paring things down to the barest essentials, they have created a recording of quiet beauty; dark and mysterious, this is chamber jazz at its best.

Most telling are the two separate versions of Peacock's piece "Vignette." The first, a more rhythmically-propelled interpretation of a characteristically-spare motif, finds first Copland and then Peacock soloing with the kind of sheer lyricism that is almost painful in its simplicity. The album closes with the second reading, this time a solo rendition from Copland, where the harmonies are less direct, more abstruse.

Another Peacock piece, "Requiem," bears comparison to the version on the Marilyn Crispell trio recording from 2001, Amaryllis , as it so succinctly defines the difference between the two pianists. Crispell comes at the piece from a slightly more jagged, avant edge; Copland from a more romantic impressionistic point of view. Both are beautiful versions, but Copland is clearly the more graceful of the two.

Peacock, now nearing his sixth decade of performing, always manages to create an environment that is unpredictable and full of surprise. He has the remarkable capability, especially when in matched company, of managing to imply things that aren't there; it is part of the magic between these two players that on a piece like Copland's "Around in the Air" there is a palpable pulse even though one is not strictly being played.

Gracing the five Peacock and four Copland compositions are three improvisations that truly demonstrate Peacock's concept of spontaneous composition. "Call & Answer," in particular, is remarkable as each player first responds to and then develops and extrapolates on the other's presented motifs. For those who think that free improvisation implies no sense of structure or composition, these three pieces are as good a place as any to change that mindset.

That Peacock should be capable of music with this much dignity should be no surprise; neither should it be especially surprising from Copland who, while a late starter on his chosen instrument, continues to develop a personal approach that combines the best of American and European traditions. What It Says is another fine recording from France's Sketch Records, a label that is joining a select group of independents with an uncompromising sense of artistry, and a distinctive personality; Copland and Peacock have managed to capture the essence of the material in a programme that is rich in ambience and deep in emotion.

Track Listing: Ladder, Vignette, Watching the Silence, Around in the Air, Colors of Hue, Talkin' Blues, Calls & Answers, In a Dance, From the Well, Skim, Requiem, Vignette.

Personnel: Marc Copland: piano; Gary Peacock: double-bass.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Sketch | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Dreamsville CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read High Time CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read April CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Small World CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "The Eighth Hour Of Amduat" CD/LP/Track Review The Eighth Hour Of Amduat
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Atmosphères" CD/LP/Track Review Atmosphères
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "The Joy of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Joy of Being
by John Sharpe
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Brasil L.I.K.E" CD/LP/Track Review Brasil L.I.K.E
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "I Go Back Home: A Story About Hoping And Dreaming" CD/LP/Track Review I Go Back Home: A Story About Hoping And Dreaming
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!