Thursday, March 1, 2012

Listen to Marc Copland

I am not sure how well known Marc Copland is to the jazz listening public, which he should be given his extensive and wonderfully lyrical body of work. I know from reading reviews and columns how respected he is as a jazz musician by other players as well as by reviewers. Copland has recorded six discs on Pirouet in the past seven years, three of which were his "New York Trio Recordings" series (2006, 2007, 2009). As a composer or interpreter, Copland brings great skills to the piano thorough his touch, his sensitivity to tempo, and his interplay with his cohorts. Even more amazing for such a skilled pianist, Copland actually began as a saxophonist, playing alto with Chico Hamilton in the early '70s, only later emerging on the piano in the early 1990s as a leader on discs produced by Hatology, Savoy, and others.  

I thought of all this because I have his new recording "Some More Love Songs" (Pirouet, 2012), and it is an exquisite display of warmth and lyricism. Even though this is a recording of mostly standards -- "My Funny Valentine", I've Got You Under My Skin", "I Remember You", "When I Fall in Love" -- and covers of songs by Joni Mitchell and Ron Carter plus one original, Copland finds new depths and interesting ways to freshen each. All of the music is played at a leisurely pace, with an artist's touch, whether it be the playing of Copland, or the support of his two partners, Drew Gress on bass and Jochen Rueckert on drums, both of whom are leaders in their own right. Listen to Gress play his solo on "When I Fall in Love" to hear his woody, deep tones and musicianship from his dexterious fingers and delicate touch, and the carefully placed brush work and gentle cymbal play of Ruecert throughout, adding color to the mix.
As a follow-up to "Some Love Songs" by the same trio (Pirout, 2005) I found this CD to be significantly more touching and the play more cohesive between the three partners. I highly recommend this disc to those who like straight ahead, relaxed piano trios playing standards with a fresh point of view, played by a lyrical master of the piano.

1 comment:

  1. I released an album with Marc and Stan Sulzmann (saxes) back in 2004 whcih is still one of my favourites - Jigsaw with Larry Grenadier on bass and Bill Stewart on drums. We did the live tour with Drew Gress and Jochen Rueckert and had a ball. All great guys and wonderful musicians.