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EARSHOT JAZZ Live Review July 2010 PART 2
As would prove his preferred method, Peck introduced the set opener, “Green Dolphin Street,” with a dramatic solo improvisation. The opening chord rang out and introduced Peck’s harmonically complex, bittersweet sound. Peck sings through the piano with each key stroke, creating lyrical, breathing melodies which develop through subtle rhythmic tension. To this listener, Peck expertly communicates something of the plaintiveness of love and the shared loneliness of life. Yet if his music is mournful, it also celebrates the loss, capturing much beauty in the sadness. Johnson and La Barbera contribute major buoyancy to the music, and Peck is clearly excited to share this emotional terrain with his friends. And does it swing! The band is deeply sympathetic to Peck’s vision, and they play with the joy and spontaneity afforded by a rich musical relationship. As in the magnificent coda to “Green Dolphin Street,” the band eagerly pushes the music into new, unexpected directions, while maintaining the lush, intimate sound that characterizes the music. The band follows with “Bye Bye Blackbird,” and again Peck’s effusive unaccompanied improvisation gives way to an up-tempo, ecstatic reading by the band. In this La Barbera and Johnson are masterful. La Barbera is a nuanced and intensely musical player, as impressive in tone and clarity as he is rhythmically exciting. Johnson, of course, is a veteran of the Seattle scene and is a superb player and exceptional listener. Johnson processes information at incredible speeds, both supporting and challenging the ensemble, and is simply a pleasure to listen to and watch perform. Peck generously shares the solo space with his bandmates, and the performances are stronger for it. The trio appears to possess a strong affection for one another and the music being performed, occasionally stepping back from the music as if to just enjoy the moment before it is gone. The set consisted almost entirely of standards – Modern Romance is an exploration of some lost gems of the Great American Songbook – and closed with an “introspective,” as Peck put it, rendition of “I Fall In Love Too Easily.” Behind Peck’s beard and glasses the intensity of the emotion lay bare on his face. It was apparent that Peck felt each note resonate inside of him. There were no empty gestures.
EARSHOT JAZZ Live Review July 2010 PART 1
EARSHOT JAZZ Live Review July 2010 PART 2
Dave Peck/Pilot's Return/Downbeat Magazine
Down "Good Road" to national scene By Paul de Barros Part 1
Down "Good Road" to national scene By Paul de Barros Part 2