JOHN – new release Marc Copland solo piano

Over his long career, pianist Marc Copland has become known as a unique stylist, a harmonic innovator, and a gifted improviser with a unique sense of touch. Much of his recorded output over the decades has been in duos, trios, and quartets. Yet from his first solo piano outing, Poetic Motion (Sketch records), he showed the uncanny knack of successfully bringing off a solo recording while avoiding unnecessary pyrotechnics, making his primary concern that of bringing heart to the music. He was dubbed “the poet of the piano ” by Telerama in France, and Switzerland’s Jazz n More put him on the cover with the words, “the piano whisperer.” Over the years, other solo piano albums followed Poetic Motion: Time Within Time (Hatology), Alone (Pirouet), and Nightfall (innerVoice Jazz). Then in 2018 came Gary, an album of Peacock compositions, played as a tribute to his longime bandmate Gary Peacock. Happily, the late bassist was able to hear and enjoy this recording before his untimely passing this year. John Abercrombie died in August, 2017. His passing robbed the jazz world of one of the greatest guitarists of the last half-century. Abercrombie was one of those rare musicians who composed and played music the way he lived his life—in a straightforward fashion, without pretense of any kind, and with a passion to explore, constantly striving to venture further along his own particular pathway in jazz. This guitarist composed like he played—seemingly simple and straightforward, yet full of unexpected twists and turns, a delightful challenge to any listener spending time with the music. But these twist and turns were never a slap in the face; they were rather a tap on the shoulder, a shared secret, as if to say “listen carefully—there’s more going on here than you might think.” His output of some two hundred tunes reflects a wide variety of moods and textures, but like any great art, his compositional style doesn’t sound like anyone else’s. If Abercrombie’s passing deprived jazz of one of its greatest guitarists, it also left Marc Copland without his close friend and collaborator of nearly a half-century. Copland’s long association with Abercrombie began with their appearance together in 1971 as members of Chico Hamilton’s quartet, and continued through their last tour, in December 2016. They gigged and recorded over the years as members of each other’s bands, and also as a duo. John’s last quartet, with Copland, Drew Gress and Joey Baron, spent several years touring worldwide and recorded two albums for the ECM label. That’s a very long association—a lot of music was made by these two gentlemen together. The mutual respect and influence between was about more than just the notes and the gigs; the two were close friends. “When we were both in our twenties, John was a tremendous infuence on me,” Copland says. “I met him when I was very young and ambitious, and his musical integrity, honesty, and disdain for the trappings of the business completely turned my head around. I saw immediately that this was a musician of the highest order, who simply wanted to make good music without letting anything external get in the way. I felt totally unworthy to play with such an honest spirit–me with my New York drive and desire to succeed. It was through my friendship with John that I came to understand: try as I might to ignore it, the values I saw in John turned out to be my values also.” This long and close relationship between the two players gives Copland a unique insight into the body of compostional work that John penned over his long career. Working with producer Philippe Ghielmetti and associate producer Stephane Oskeritzian, selections for this recording were made that run the gamut—from Timeless, the title track of Abercrombie’s first ECM album, to Sunday School and Flip Side—from his last ECM album. In between there are pieces from a variety of projects in his catalog. Remember Hymn, dedicated to the memory of percussionst Colin Walcott, was recorded with Michael Brecker and guitar synthesizers; Avenue and Isla were written for John’s duo with acoustic guitarist / composer Ralph Towner; Sad Song was played by John’s quartet with violinist Mark Feldman; and Vertigo appeared on “39 Steps,” the debut album of the guitarist’s last quartet.

Apr 21 2023

Someday – Space, elegance and heartiness are all at the forefront

The stupendous sound of American pianist Marc Copland is only matched by his immense creativity and originality. For this quartet session, recorded for his own label, the pianist teams up with bassist Drew Gress, a longtime partner in many musical voyages, and two new additions: Belgian-American saxophonist Robin Verheyen and ...
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Mar 23 2023


Si potrebbe dire che Marc Copland sia un artista dalla doppia vita. Partito come sassofonista con ottime collaborazioni in qualità di sideman, tra cui Chico Hamilton, Cameron Brown e Jeff Williams e John Abercrombie. Insoddisfatto dei limiti armonici del suo strumento, a metà degli ’70 anni, il giovane Copland lascia ...
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Feb 27 2023

“One of today’s great pianists….Fresh, powerful, sensitive: this is without doubt one of the best quartet recordings in recent memory.”

Marc Copland, at 74 years old, has nothing more to prove. He’s played with the greatest, recorded superb discs and is recognized as one of today’s great pianists. He can play music free of any constraints, and choose his preferred partners. His old friend Drew Gress is on bass here, ...
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Feb 9 2023

“A dream musical partnership, and as always with Marc Copland: exciting!” Jazz Thing

Next stop for the restless adventurer Marc Copland: after his interlude with violinist Mark Feldman, the pianist is back with saxophonists, with whom he has a soulmate-like connection--because that was his original instrument. The first was the Frenchman Jean-Charles Richard (L'etoffe des Reves, La Buisonne) and now it’s the Belgian ...
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Dec 9 2022

Music is magic in this group’s hands, and Marc Copland is the master magician – AllaboutJazz

Marc Copland is a former saxophonist who found his instrument artistically confining for the purposes of expressing his vision. So he called on his childhood piano training (synaptic memories intact) to make the switch to the keyboard. The results have been magic. His artistry with the 88s is second only ...
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Dec 1 2022

Interview The New York City Jazz Record

Marc Copland has been creating vital music for more than 40 years and the pianist is arguably at the very top of his game. He is most well known for his long associations with bassist Gary Peacock and guitarist John Abercrombie, issuing several game-changing albums on ECM. Copland is a ...
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