These are songs that Player A recorded originally for the record of the same name by Player A founder and keyboardist Eric Copeland. These songs reflect a more vocal side of the group.
First up is the seminal and somewhat autobiographical “The Jazz in Me” which explores Copeland’s reasons and life through jazz. Then we are treated to the vocal version of “My Steps are Ordered”, which features a vocal over the track from “Steppin'” from the group’s release Our Own Devices.
Copeland shares another sliver from his personal life with “In Between Dreams, an island-tinged samba. “When She Returns” is a mysterious ballad that tells the story of a relationship both challenging, and completely wonderful.
Finishing the EP is a unique arrangement and composition of the hymn “Have Thine Own Way” with new verses written before using the hymn for the chorus.
You know those things that are so sleek, so smart, so just…cool that you have to have it right away? Like a new iPhone, that new Ford Mustang, or killer piece of gear that just came out?
Well, that’s the way I always felt about this tune: Sleekness. It was always a fun groove, but then I got in touch with the amazing saxman Marcus Anderson (now blowing up everywhere!) and he put some amazing licks and stacks on this song.
As per my usual exacting producing style…I told him to do whatever he wanted. To me that is what Player A is all about. Letting players play. So the great stacked parts and solos from Marcus literally blew me away.
Sleekness HAD to be the first song on our album “Our Own Devices”.
This song started as just a fun, smooth jazz number,and guess what, it IS!
When we were working on Player A “Our Own Devices”, much of the thought was, how can we have fun, but make a serious artistic statement as players? So we came up with very artful tunes like the title song “Our Own Devices”, the lead off tune “Sleekness”, and other stuff. But this song just came about as a fun song. Something for the “smooth jazz” set if you will, but will a little more energy than that.
There’s no big story, just slick fun playing by guys who love their instruments.
I told a few folks that Player A would fit into the contemporary jazz marketplace, and our first single, “Coming On” slipped into the Billboard Smooth Jazz Top 25 a time or two. So, guess what, we were right.
Hate to say I told you so…
Eric Copeland is the composer and keyboardist of Player A, a loose assembly of some of the top session talent in Nashville. Find us also on Twitter and Facebook.