FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Street Date: October 20th, 2017
…..ANNOUNCING “NIGHTFALL” --- MARC COPLAND’S FIRST SOLO PIANO DISC SINCE 2009 –- THE PIANIST IS REUNITED WITH PRODUCER PHILIPPE GHIELMETTI
Marc Copland’s past three solo piano outings set a very high bar. French producer Philippe Ghielmetti “discovered” Copland in a Paris club and recorded his debut as a solo pianist, Poetic Motion (Sketch, 2002). The CD won the “Diapason D’Or,” and Telerama noted that “this is really a piano recital....played with a nod to reserved emotion, to beauty with respect, and to delicacy. Which doesn’t mean that it’s not relentless in its approach.” The CD went on to sell some 10,000 copies (though distribution was limited to mostly France and Japan).
Time Within Time (Hatology, 2005) was rated “5 stars” by the Irish Times and Fono Forum, and Allaboutjazz.com noted that Copland was, “without any fuss, emerging as one of the most significant pianists of the last 20 years.”
Alone (Pirouet, 2009) was given 6 discs by Piano News and 5 stars by the Irish Times, while Allaboutjazz.com declared it “enthralling, a beginning-to-end gorgeous work of art, solo piano at its highest level.”
All of which brings us, after a hiatus of eight years, to the pianist’s latest foray as piano soloist: Nightfall, perhaps the best of his recordings in this genre. Copland and Ghielmetti work together seamlessly, just as they did so successfully in the pianist’s 2002 solo debut.
We find here beautiful compositions from the pen of like-minded composers: by Copland himself, and by three of his long-time collaborators—John Abercrombie, Gary Peacock, and Ralph Towner. Rounding out the selections are a classic piece from Scott LaFaro (suggested by Ghielmetti), as well as a spur-of-the-moment improvisation from the pianist. The album, then, presents a musician of unique harmonic and lyrical gifts, interpreting mature works by some of modern jazz’s finest composers.
The CD opens with a haunting soliloquy on “Jade Visions,” probably the last tune that Bill Evans and Scott LaFaro played together before the bassist’s untimely passing. Few musicians would dare to try and re-interpret this piece, let alone in a solo format; Copland’s version avoids technical flash or oversentimentality, a gorgeous interpretation of LaFaro’s unique masterwork, an elegy that is sensitive to the tragic way in which the piece became the composer’s own epitaph. The title track follows, with Copland using new compositional and improvisational techniques to paint a vividly-hued tapestry portraying the approach of evening.
“String Thing” is an impulse, a spur-of-the-moment musical response the pianist had to a conversation the previous day with engineer Gerard de Haro, concerning a style of folk guitar as played by such musicians as Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. “Song For A Friend” was originally recorded by composer Towner and bassist Glenn Moore, both of whom were musical companions of Copland in the 1970’s. “I kept hearing a ballad in A minor with a certain kind of feel, and after several attempts at composing one, realized I was just trying to rewrite Ralph’s tune. So I figured I’d go to the source.”
“LST” is a Copland swinger that’s been a staple of John Abercrombie’s quartet for the last few years. “Vignette,” a Gary Peacock classic, has been interpreted on disc by Copland in solo, duo, and trio formats for over two decades. Here, he spontaneously alters the well-known accompaniment figure to open new, oblique harmonic avenues.
“Another Ralph’s” is Abercrombie’s reworking of his earlier “Ralph’s Piano Waltz,” both of which are dedicated to fellow guitarist and composer Towner. In addition to the opening “Jade Visions,” it is perhaps here that Copland reaches furthest into the experience of being intimately alone with his instrument, a worthy successor to the mood achieved by Bill Evans in his legendary recording of “Never Let Me Go.” As a swinging closer, Abercrombie’s “Greenstreet” is a pleasant reminder of the jazz roots of both the interpreter and the composer, even as both explore cadential and melodic relationships that are off the beaten path.
More info available at: www.innervoicejazz.com, www.marccopland.com