Beverly Copeland (who performed formerly as Beverly Glenn) began her folk-singing and songwriting career two years ago, as a singer with eight solid years of classical training behind her. Born in Philadelphia, she has been a resident of Canada since 1961. She attended McGill University and gave a number of McGill and CBC recitals (she was a winner of the 1964 CBC Talent Festival) before deciding in 1968 to change her style and enter a field that she felt allowed a more complete expression of her personality and which she found more compatible. Since then she has appeared on CBC local and national radio and television programs including “After Noon” and “Music to Remember”. Her first commercial record is set for release this fall.
Beverly possesses a style of composition and interpretation all her own. Strict classification eludes her: it is folk and blues, with much of a jazz influence, and the artistry of the classical background, all in one. Two versions of “Don’t Despair” are sung on this recording: the first is reminiscent of the blues tradition and the second, which is the last song on the album, has a more contemporary jazz flavour in its rendition. The same folk blues idiom of the golden age of blues, permeated by the artist’s pain and the cry of the ragman, is the essence of “Good Morning Blues, Nothing Beautiful, Durocher, and Untitled (“Make the answer Yes”) span the spectrum of gentle, melancholy love songs of her repertoire. “Song From Beads” is a joyful sound that once more betrays a reflective core. Poems become the foundation of at least two songs: “Interval” is a tone poem, as Beverly describes it, where the music weaves together the silences and the sounds of dreams; “Swords of Gold” has its roots in 20th-century classical music at its most stark, and at the same time its most moving. “North Wind” and “Reflections” are basically different, but here the anguished mind finds its expression in two songs where the singer’s voice displays (more especially in “Reflections”) its most versatile qualities.
The accompanying musicians’ improvisations, under the superb direction of Neil Chotem, provide a sensitive complement to every song, and reflect a wide range from tight jazz to the spacious sounds of “Interval”, where their presence is almost subliminal.
-from back of album
All songs composed by Beverly Copeland except lyrics as indicated
Recorded in Montreal at the CBC Studios on March 24 and 25, 1970
Produced by Ramona Randall
Recording Engineer: Robert Guay
Remix Engineer: Gilles Vaudeville
Music Consultant: Neil Chotem