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Copland, Marc: Crosstalk

Marc Copland is an American jazz pianist and composer who actually started playing the saxophone and in the early '60s became part of the Philadelphia jazz scene. He eventually switched to the piano and studied in the Washington, D.C. area for a number of years. He is one of the most prolific jazz musicians on the planet having released almost twenty albums since the year 2000.

He has worked in the duo, trio and quartet formats and for his latest release Crosstalk, he is joined by three outstanding musicians; Greg Osby (alto saxophone), Doug Weiss (bass) and Victor Lewis (drums).

Copland is a fabulous pianist which he so ably demonstrates throughout Crosstalk. His playing is both difficult and melodic and is a virtual highlight on all eleven tracks. In the album opener "Talkin' Blues" piano and saxophone border on the mysterious, reminding me of some soundtrack to a '60s detective novel. The piano teeters on the edge of chaos with the melody hard to grasp before the playing becomes more delicate surrounded by shimmering cymbal work. In "Diary Of The Same Dream" subtle washes of cymbal and slow languid saxophone commit to a slow groove before the playing becomes more dissonant as the piano and sax compete for the same space and an organized chaos ensues. In the upbeat "Ozz-Thetic" sax lines and piano flourishes intertwine through a solid bass groove while in the sentimental jazz ballad "Tenderly" the melody is much more prevalent featuring a smattering of piano and tender saxophone.

One of my favourites is the complex title track showcasing a stunning bass solo from Weiss and Copland's skillful piano motifs. Other notables include the angular "Slow Hand" where an off handed piano melody and pretty sax are a contrast in styles and the uplifting "Hey, It's Me You're Talkin' To", a short piece showcasing Copland's melodic sensibilities.

Crosstalk is another fine release from Pirouet Records and one that should be highly regarded within the jazz community. I really enjoyed it and if you are a fan of modern jazz I am sure you will too.

Track Listing:
1. Talkin' Blues (6:53)
2. Diary Of The Same Dream (4:23)
3. Ozz-Thetic (4:08)
4. Tenderly (7:46)
5. Crosstalk (8:11)
6. Slow Hand (7:16)
7. Hey, It's Me You're Talkin' To (4:49)
8. Three Four Civility (3:46)
9. Minority (6:33)

Added: April 26th 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1900
Language: english

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