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It doesn’t seem right to think of him as an elder statesman, but pianist and composer Marc Copland, now 73 years old, has been spinning out sounds like no other pianist since the mid-1970’s. He’s considered a “triple threat”: a player with a lyrical sense of touch, unique innovative harmonies, and a deep sense of swing. His output as a leader is staggering: over 40 albums, recorded for over ten different labels, featuring major jazz voices of the past and present – John Abercrombie, Ralph Alessi, Joey Baron, Mike Brecker, Randy Brecker, Dennis Chambers, Mark Ferber, Drew Gress, Billy Hart, Dave Liebman, Victor Lewis, Joe Lovano, Greg Osby, Gary Peacock, Bill Stewart, Robin Verheyen, Ken Wheeler, etc. In the last decade, he was pianist for both Gary Peacock’s trio and John Abercrombie’s quartet.
But if you were thinking of Copland as an older musician simply resting on his laurels – you couldn’t be more wrong. In 2016 he started his own label, innerVoice Jazz, and in 2019 a partner label, Illusions/Mirage. His latest release, the solo piano outing John, received several “Best of” citations: Down Beat (USA) “Editor’s Pick”, CHOC (best of the month) from Jazz Magazine (France), “CD of the Month” from Stereoplay (Germany), five stars from both Rondo (Germany) and Neu Zuricher Zeitung (Switzerland). Dan McClenaghan of allaboutjazz.com put it this way: “Copland is a genius...he creates the loveliest of sounds.” The respected blog jazzstation awarded him “ #1 Acoustic Pianist of the Year” for 2020.