If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.
You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...
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.
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.