The Learning Curve
review by d. lawrence haynes
David Cooper is a pleasant fellow from Seattle. No grunger he, listing his influences as James Taylor, Don McLean, Dan Fogelberg and probably the most obvious, Jim Croce. He has a folkish musical demeanor reminiscent of the glorious 70's. His current release, The Learning Curve, is an exercise in smooth, non-offensive music that borders on vocal new age. There are several gems in this collection, but it never caught on fire for me.
I'm Sorry That I Never Made You Smile is a poignant samba feeling tune that is one of the stronger outings on the set. That, coupled with That's How They Make You A Man with its funky mo-rock feel, Who Do You Think You Are? - a Bread-like easy rocker and Lady In The Window with its chamber music underpinnings, establish Cooper as a clever wordsmith with a good ear for melody.
Cooper has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, but the work on the road doesn't seem to have jaded his songwriting abilities, witness Together, a wonderful paen to togetherness.
A note should be made here about his supporting troupe. Accomplished musicians, the background they provide has a great deal to do with the success this CD offers. Rod Cook does electric work with his brief solo guitar opportunities and Nick Manson is a wizard on a variety of keyboards. Reed man, Dewey Marler goes from saxaphone to flute with consumate skill, and Libby Torrance's background vocals add a musical dimension to Cooper's voice that help him over the top.
All in all, this is much like David Cooper himself, a pleasant sound from Seattle.
"The Learning Curve"
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