all-about-jazz

Dan McClenaghan | ALL ABOUT JAZZ

John: 4 ½ STARS

“A GENIUS….so alluring….completely lacking in pretense.”

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), 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 Abercrobie 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.

Apr 4 2022

May: QUINT5T Live on Tour

Dave Liebman, sax Randy Brecker, trumpet Marc Copland, piano Drew Gress, bass Joey Baron, drums 14.05.2022  LIEGE/Belgium Le Trocadero Theatre of Liège 15.05.2022  AMSTERDAM/Netherlands Bimhuis 16.05.2022  BADEN/Switzerland Kulak Jazz@ Druckerei BT Hochhaus 18.05.2022  HAMBURG/Germany Elbphilharmonie Kleiner Saal 19.05.2022  BERLIN/Germany Kesselhaus -Kulturbrauerei Berlin 20.05.2022 DORTMUND/Germany Domicil 21.05.2022  GENT/Belgium De Bijloke Muziekcentrum ...
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Apr 4 2022

April: Marc Copland Quartet LIVE on Tour

Quartet Marc Copland - piano Mark Feldman - violin Jonas Burgwinkel - drums Felix Henkelhausen - bass 20.4. Paris/France Sunset Sunside Jazz Club 21.4. Eupen/Belgium Alter Schlachthof 22.4. Neuburg/Donau Birdland Jazz Club 23.4. Eschen/Liechtenstein Weinstube   Duo Marc Copland - piano Mark Feldman - violin 26.4. Straßburg/France Csc Fosse Des ...
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Nov 13 2021

Back to the Road: MARC COPLAND Gigs 2021

MARC COPLAND TRIO, November 2021 Jonas Burgwinkel, drums, Drew Gress** or Phil Donkin*, bass Nov 14---Jazzforum Bayreuth (19.30) * Nov 18---Fabrik, Frankfurt (19.30) ** Nov 21---Klaeng Festival, Koln (approximately 20.30) ** Nov 25---A Trane, Berlin * Nov 27---Radio France, Blvd Pres Kennedy, Paris, France (approximately 20.40) * USA-Gigs Dec 1---Bar ...
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Mar 1 2021

Pianista di arte sopraffina – Intervista a Marc Copland

A 72 anni, quando potrebbe anche essere lecito aspettarsi un certo rallentamento creativo, Marc Copland pianista di arte sopraffina, ha dato una robusta sferzata alla sua carriera grazie a un album in solo dedicato al suo compianto amico John Abercrombie (e non mancate l'omaggio precedente a Gary Peacock, altro gigante ...
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Jan 28 2021

John – Piano Solo

Eine Farbfotografie des Gitarristen John Abercrombie ziert den Innenteil des Digipacks von „John“, dem Soloalbum des Pianisten Marc Copland, der – bescheiden zurücktretend – mit einem von scharfen Kontrasten geprägten, fast dämonisch anmutenden Schwarz-Weiß-Foto abgebildet ist. Jahrelang spielten sie zusammen, immer wieder, von 1971 als Mitglieder des Chico Hamilton Quartet ...
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Jan 26 2021

Downbeat: JOHN (Marc Copland)

Pianist Marc Copland—who played saxophone during the early ’70s alongside guitarist John Abercrombie in a fusion act simply called Friends—summons a solo tribute album aimed at his late friend. Copland and Abercrombie gigged and recorded together in a variety of settings during the subsequent decades, and the pianist finds alluring, ...
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