Marc Copland: Like You
Marc Copland (piano)
Another Place (Pirouet PIT 3031)
Drew Gress (bass), Billy Hart (drums).
Composed by Marc Copland.
Recorded: Munich, Germany, July 2007
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Marc Copland is one of those rare instrumentalists who have developed amazing control over tone and volume, much like his forebear Bill Evans. His, at times, gossamer touch is especially moving on "Like You." Here Copland and John Abercrombie match each other note for note on the melody line, with Abercrombie characteristically playing a step ahead of Copland's notes, producing an almost echoed delay that is quite effective. Gress's hollow-sounding bass fits in nicely and is a grounding influence. Hart is tastefully understated, which is of paramount importance for this type of suspended, silky music. He also produces shimmering sounds from his delicate use of cymbals, a perfect counterpoint to the darting solos.
Copland and Abercrombie are artists with a similar soul and a parallel vision. Together they fashion an aural landscape of colors and tones with no memorable melody but with an eerie, spidery feel. The guitarist's thoughtful, ruminating explorations and feathery sound make him the perfect foil for Copland. His solos have the barest of skeletal structures, which can be released to go off melody or off rhythm. His harmonic daring doesn't always fit but does somehow return unerringly to the theme. At the same time Copland balances floridly played right-handed, sometimes scalar runs with an equally contrapuntal left hand, creating dissonant chords that oddly work. The effect is unlike anything else and never predicable. His constructions seem precisely thought out but never lose their spontaneity or feeling, as evidenced by his emotional yet subdued Jarrett-like utterances while soloing. The ideas don't always resolve neatly but sometimes hang in midair, purposely tantalizing the listener. These carefully choreographed sounds move in ballet-like precision with the delicacy and style of a Nureyev. A joyous celebration.
Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello