Peacock's unique solo bass disc
Phasedin | New Jersey | 12/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded in December 1977, I've had this on vinyl in the late 70's and it's great to have it on CD now. This recording won't be for everyone, but it's Peacock's only recording comprising mostly only upright bass (sometimes overdubbed so that he can play more than one part at a time). I hope he revisits this again but he seems busy lately mostly in piano trios (the format which accounts for most of his appearences over the decades).
All the same, those who don't think they would be interesed in a 42 minute recording of solo upright bass might be happily surprised. But naturally, you do have to be in love with the sound of this deep, woody instrument (which I am), and Peacock has one of the best sounds on the instrument ever.
Saxophonist Jan Garbarek appears on 2 of the CD's 6 tracks, so there is some variety of sound here which prevents it from being to monotonous.
All of the 6 tracks were composed by Peacock, which is a plus for me because often solo instrumentalists try to prove how flexible their instrument is (or how clever they are) by adapting standards to non-harmonic instruments to try to prove something in a kind of way as if to say "see? I can even play and adapt well-known pieces/standards on this instrument" , but for me it detracts from the listening expierence because the listener sits comparing the particular performance to how it's been interpreted in the past by groups or on instruments like piano or guitar. None of that here, thankfully. There's just Peacock and his compositions here for the listener to get lost in.
As I mentioned Garbarek's 2 guest appearences give it enough variety and keep it interesting for the entire 42 minute playing time.
This is an especially welcome release on CD since this is a very quiet recording, full of space to contrast with the low tones of the upright bass. There seems to be no electronic "sweetening" to the instrument at all so having this on CD is a big improvment over the original vinyl issue of the album. Close your eyes and it sounds as if Peacock (and Garbarek as well) are right there playing in your room.
I sure hope Peacock does another disc like this. To date this is his only one and it's over 25 years old. Certainly a "must have" for any fan of the talented Mr Peacock. Matter of fact, i'm going to put it on right now...."
Michael Kime | Christchurch New Zealand | 09/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gary Peacock doesn't play like other bassists, hell he doesn't even write like other composers-- whatever that means. To me his thinking is beyond the instrument and composition. A curious blend of virtuosity, subtlety and dare I say unaffectedness. Some say he is the greatest living musician, others say he plays out of tune and far to quietly. Well, who knows. And in truth, who cares--- only those who don't have a life. Reality is, Mr Peacock is an improviser/innovater which can spell trouble in a world of affected mediocrity."