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Marc Copland

Marc Copland
Marc Copland

Few pianists commune with a tune as poetically and with as much abandon as Marc Copland. Once into a piece of music, whether his own or a well-worn standard, Copland is a pianistic prospector panning for harmonic gold. “When I play, I search around inside until I hear something that feels right,” he says. “And when it feels right, I go with it.”

This searching spirit has permeated Copland’s music ever since the mid-1970s, when he switched from saxophone to piano and quickly found his voice on that instrument. As he told writer Gene Lees in Jazz Lives: 100 Portraits in Jazz: “When I was coming up as a saxophonist, the idea was to burn out, to play really intense. All of a sudden here was this impressionist-lyrical thing going on inside me that I had known nothing about, rearing its head all by itself. It was so strong that it eventually took me all the way over, not so much because I wanted to play piano-although I grew to love it-but because I had to do something with that feeling.”

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