Marc Copland: River Bend
Marc Copland (piano)
Another Place (Pirouet PIT3031)
Drew Gress (bass), Billy Hart (drums).
Composed by John Abercrombie.
Recorded: Munich, Germany, July 2007
Rating: 91/100 (learn more)
Marc Copland is the epitome of a musician on a quest for his own sound. He began his professional music career as a saxophonist. He was good enough to play with such jazz icons as John Abercrombie and Chico Hamilton. But for some reason he wasn't hearing what he wanted from his horn. He decided to scrap his saxophone career and take a brand new direction. Goodbye sax. Hello piano. He left the circuit for a decade to study piano. Upon his return, the new keyboardist brought with him a wonderful style full of invention, harmony, texture and mood.
This same quartet had first gotten together a decade earlier. Their simpatico on Another Place is obvious. It is a fantastic album chock full of ideas cleverly presented. "River Bend," composed by Abercrombie, is a spatial adventure. The intro is as expansive as the mouth of a river. Disjointed sounds and textures act as tributaries. The theme is introduced with piano and electric guitar arpeggios. The sound mix seems purposefully equal in order to obtain more of an ensemble flow. There are effective solos to be sure, but they are not spotlighted. The tune bounces back and forth between the calm and the rapids. It makes us eager to see around the next bend, but satisfied to take our time getting there because we are enjoying the unfolding views.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky