Block chords, swinging touch, trio setting, full-throated playing: this must be Red Garland. No, its New York City pianist and composer Peter Zak and his loquacious piano style, tasteful and full-bodied. Down East is Zak's sixth release for the Danish Steeplechase label. Zak's piano approach is easily stated, even and uniformly dense. His Ornette Coleman ("Invisible") reveals a connection with Thelonious Monk ("Gallop's Gallop") and a spiritual kinship with Clifford Brown ("Tiny Capers").
"Tiny Capers" was featured as the opener on Bill Carrothers' A Night At the Village Vanguard (Pirouet, 2011), and that pianist's expressionist approach contrasts well with Zak's intentional and exacting cover. Zak approaches the Brown compositions as a Bach Partita, with an intended precision that also swings, hardest during his solo section. Bassist Peter Washington keeps railroad-clock time and in doing so, always keeps Zak between the lines. Zak's two-fisted rhythmic approach propels the song along a comfortable predictable path to a really good listen.
Track Listing: Is That So?; Who Cares?; Sector 7; Gallop's Gallop; I didn't Know About You; Tiny Capers; Dreamsville; Invisible; Love Thy Neighbor; He Said/She Said; Down East.
Personnel: Peter Zak: piano; Peter Washington: bass; Rodney Green: drums.
Enjoy Three Days on the Beach with Snarky Puppy, Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band, Lettuce, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Lila Downs, Michael McDonald Acoustic Quartet, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Flor de Toloache and more—February 14-16, 2020 at the North Beach Bandshell in Miami, FL.
The winner receives a 3-day pass for two. Excludes travel or lodging.
Acclaimed by the New York Times as one of the “Top 10 Definitive Moments of the Decade in Jazz Music,” GroundUP goes beyond the typical festival experience, breaking down the barriers between audience and artists...
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