Eric Copeland has been playing piano, writing
songs, and making recordings of his music since he was 13. In his college years,
he became interested in jazz, heavily influenced by the vocal jazz and pop of Al
Jarreau, the keyboard and synthesizer work of Jeff Lorber, and other artists
like Gino Vanelli, Manhattan Transfer, and Bruce Hornsby. By his twenties Eric
was also adding modern jazz groups like the Yellowjackets, Steps Ahead, Pat
Metheny, and Flim and the BBs. Vocal jazz music also figured in heavily with
Michael Franks and Take 6.
His interest in Christian music, as well as his keyboard programming and
production skills, brought a natural role as producer, and Eric has now served
in this role on hundreds of albums, EPs, and singles for artists across the US
and the world. Eric is also president of the
Soul Jazz Record label. Working together with other
Nashville jazz and session greats Eric is producing a fresh innovative take on
Eric shares that, "Our goal as a label is not
to rule the world, get rich, or reinvent any genres. Our mission is using our
God-given talents to show the beauty, the intensity, the passion, and the
spiritual effect of jazz. Being gospel folk, our minds may pray to, and play for
a higher power, but our souls are rooted firmly in the freedom and pure art form
Eric's new CD release "THE JAZZ IN ME" marks
the return to original jazz music by Eric. After releasing albums of
his own in the 90's, including the funky, synth jazz "Cooler" and the seminal,
laid back "Stolen Moments", Copeland began producing albums for national and
international artists full-time. In the past few years though, Copeland began
retooling some older songs he had written for other artists (My Steps Are
Ordered, Come to Me), new takes on classic hymns (Softly and Tenderly, Just As I
Am), polishing up a few he had previously released (Have Thine Own Way), and
writing new tunes that defined his current place in life (In Between Dreams, On
the Side). The result is THE JAZZ IN ME.
All this has been accompanied in the last few years by a sudden and intense need
to study jazz history, and dive deeper into why jazz is such an important part
of his life. THE JAZZ IN ME is more than a new CD, it's the result of study,
prayer, and hours of listening, playing, and talking about jazz.
"I've found that my love for jazz is deeper than just a genre or niche my music
happens to fall under. The elements that make up jazz: improvisation,
composition, rhythm, melody, structure, harmony, repetition...these are things
that are part of EVERYTHING I do, not just music. And then the history of jazz
is just a fascinating and, historically speaking, relatively recent ascension of
a whole new music, that like classical before it, has it's own forefathers:
Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis,
John Coltrane, etc."
"There is also my whole passion for Christian music, and trying to bring
something different to the table there. God gave me quite different gifts and
thought processes than other musicians, producers, and writers. I think it has
taken this far in my life to see how and where my personal music, blending jazz
and gospel, fits in. But I believe there is plenty to say about God in the
context of jazz, that I could make CDs for a lifetime and never get it all out.
THE JAZZ IN ME is a step in that direction."
The Jazz In Me