Daniel Schlappi & Marc Copland: More Essentials

A handful of years ago, bassist Daniel Schlappi got together with Bill Evans-inspired pianist Marc Copland for a delightful album that consisted of gentle musical conversations. This one follows up the original idea, and displays the value of having less say more. The leader does a few solo excursions to keep the moods varied and allow the album to breathe a bit, but for the most part it’s the graceful pas de deux during each duet that gets the accolades.

The homage to Evans continues even in the song selection, as hints of the pianist’s days with Eddie Gomez are felt during a beautifully pastoral “Blue in Green” where the floating ivories lovingly contrast with the droplets of the bassist’s dew. Likewise with “Gloria’s Steps” there is a classy and glassy elegance, while Schlappi takes on Horace Silver’s piano groove on “Song For My Father” and allows Copland the honors of adding the melodic soul. The team shows its joyful bop strides on a cozy and fun“My Little Suede Shoes” and they toy with each other on “All of You.” Space is the place on Joni Mitchell’s melancholy ”Rainy Night House” and the team creates enough shadows for Gloria Graham to step into the screen on a noir-ish and harrowing “Yesterdays.”

Duets are one of the key ways that jazz artists reveal their true temperaments, and this album makes you want to sit down and have a coffee with each gent.



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