Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Marc Copland/John Abercrombie : Speak to Me

The arrival of this superb collection of duets from pianist Marc Copland and guitarist John Abercrombie isn’t exactly surprising, given the unmistakable compatibility they’ve demonstrated in other settings. But that doesn’t make the CD’s nine performances any less welcome or compelling.

Though the tunes are a mix of original pieces (three composed by each of the players), pop standards (“If I Should Lose You” and “Witchcraft”) and an Ornette Coleman contribution (“Blues Connotation”), a conversational tone prevails throughout, beginning with Abercrombie’s soulful musing “Left Behind.” Naturally, the duo partners trade roles, improvising and accompanying with understated ease. But for listeners, the most rewarding aspects of this alliance aren’t so easily divisible. The elegantly woven lines, the seamless and subtle ways in which the melodies are illuminated or tweaked, the mutual pleasure the duo clearly takes in reharmonizing a pop classic-these are just some of the qualities and tactics that elevate the performances and reveal well-matched sensibilities. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Copland and Abercrombie write tunes that facilitate the intuitive rapport they’ve developed over the years.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published