Sunday, December 19, 2010

Loaded Bass

Bassist Gary Peacock certainly gets his licks in when working with his chief employer Keith Jarrett, alongside drummer Jack DeJohnette in the so-called "Standards Trio." Despite the many solos that the superstar pianist allots Peacock, there's still significant aspects of his musical personality that remain hidden. To hear the bassist in all his multi-dimensional glory these days, you have to turn to his work with others. I find his interplay with pianist Marc Copland -- particularly in a duet setting -- to be specially rewarding. There's a sense of yearning and deep mystery to a performance like this that you hear far too rarely with the Jarrett trio. Peacock's woody sound is also fully captured here in a way that even escapes the pristine fidelity of the Jarrett ECM recordings. Much like Jarrett, Peacock has his prolix tendencies, but both men convey the most expressive depth when paring their technique down and concentrating on extracting the juice from every well-chosen note.
"Calls and Answers" can be found on the Copland-Peacock recording "What It Says" on the Sketch label.

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