Marc Copland – Softly
Pianist Marc Copland’s trio (including bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Bill Stewart) is joined by three of the finest horn players today: Michael Brecker, Tim Hagans, and Joe Lovano on this refreshing release.
The players are guided in their improvisations by Copland’s unique sense of touch, as well as his love of and respect for group interplay and spontaneity. The leader’s thoughtful arrangements leave plenty of room for on-the-spot input from the players. The results of this approach can be heard throughout the album, as for example in the full-group chorus on “Softly,” the tags to “Blue” and “What’s Going On”, and the trio selections (which, like the choice of the trio tunes themselves, were executed on the spur of the moment).
“My long association with the players on this album was the key,” says Copland. “I prefer to have players with their own sound, with the ability to listen as well as play, and who can leave their egos at the door so that they are able to contribute unselfishly to the group feel. What tends to happen in that kind of atmosphere is that each player gets a chance to play and to interact with the others freely, so that the players support one another and everybody gets to make a strong, individual contribution. Mutual respect will do that.”
Mutual respect and strong individual contributions from the players, as well as a unique sense of touch, harmony, and rhythm from the leader, are indeed the hallmark of this exciting new release.