Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Gary Peacock Trio, Now This

It is rather incredible thinking retrospectively at this later date about the presence of bassist Gary Peacock on the jazz scene. He was an important member of many classic avant and otherwise dates before he became the long-standing bassist with Keith Jarrett's Standards Trio. And with Gary's new trio CD Now This (ECM 2428) we are reminded of what he can do and be in a changed playing context.

The trio is an excellent one, with Marc Copland at the piano and Joey Baron on drums, two very beautiful players who have for years managed to create their own stylistic turf in an ever-shifting improvisatory world. The three together here remind you that having a truly individual voice in this music is very difficult and very rare. Peacock, Copland and Baron have done it and by getting together as a threesome they make a trio that stands out as a furtherance of their personal and collective selves as well as of the music.

The tunes are gems, seven by Peacock, two by Copland, one by Baron and the classic "Gloria's Step" by Scott LaFaro. The nod to the bass pioneer reminds us of the now long history of the modern piano trio and Peacock's central place in it, as well as of the critical legacy of LaFaro in creating the bass role for the classic Evans Trio. Gary of course spent a long time creating his own place in that legacy and we are witness to its mature ripening, its full-flowering on this release as on the classic Jarrett sides.

Happily, there is a good deal of Peacock's playing in an out-front context and he sounds very wonderfully himself throughout. The magic touch and voicing excellence of Copland shines forward as well, making this something special. And Baron in the piano trio tradition is subtle and supremely artistic.

This date has a sublimity about it that comes about when three artists of this high caliber get real traction from the three-way dialog. It is inspired music, piano trio music of the highest sort. They are substantially different sounding than the Standards Trio and so there is a freshness here, a different sort of beauty.

Highly recommended!

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