Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!


Gary Peacock Trio at the Regattabar Jazz Club

Nat Seelen By

Sign in to view read count
Gary Peacock Trio Regattabar Jazz Club Cambridge, MA November 10, 2017

Veterans' Day was an appropriate date for this show, which was indeed a concert of veterans. Gary Peacock served in the army in the 1950s, and the three musicians on stage that evening could count over 150 years combined on the bandstand, side by side with luminaries like Miles Davis, Michael Brecker, John Zorn, and so many more. Peacock has been leading the group since 2014, when his 31-year run with Keith Jarrett's "Standards Trio" finally came to a close, and they played through a set of standards with an ease that comes only with long familiarity with, devotion to, and love for this music.

It was below freezing outside, the first frost of the season. Inside, though, the Regattabar Jazz Club was buzzing with energy. They were turning people away from the door when I arrived. I sat at a small table with two young men arm-deep in a hummus plate and a discussion about the state of the modern jazz saxophonist. "Trane played a lot of notes, but he still grooved... If you don't groove. I dunno."

At 7:42, the Regattabar's requisite announcement came through the sound system, and the band walked in. Peacock took a moment to tune, then opened the set with a bass solo. He has a deep, rich tone and a steady sense of pace. Baron and Copland entered softly behind him. This is a classic piano trio with a twist: the bass is out front with the piano playing the supporting role.

Over the course of the next ninety minutes, the trio took the standards for a stroll, walking through styles and working out ideas in real time with expert attention and a lighthearted sense of joi de vivre. The set was thoroughly structured, even formulaic. Of the six tunes, the first five started with a solo instrumentalist in rotating order -bass, piano, drums -before the rest of the band joined for head and solos. Only the final piece diverged from the pattern, with the whole trio playing through from top to bottom. But the improvisation was original, and delightful.

This group has an aesthetic of beauty, not of striving. They've been around the block for long enough that they don't need to prove anything to anyone, and instead focus on the sensitive interplay of voices and masterful shaping of phrases. Baron rarely just keeps time; he pushes melodies around the kit with sticks, brushes, and his bare hands. Copland balances thoughtful lines across the top of the keyboard with dense chords and pulsing ostinato figures beneath. And Peacock leads the ensemble from the bottom of the register, each note artfully placed against the framework of the piece he's playing.

A show by the Gary Peacock Trio is like a fine symphony orchestra concert. There's no talking from the stage, not even to introduce the musicians. The program is coherent and thoughtfully arranged from beginning to end. And the performance is unquestionably excellent.

They closed with one last standard as an encore, Young and Washington's "My Foolish Heart." True to form, Peacock opened with solo bass before Baron and Copland brought it all together for a very classy rendition of the tune and a vamping coda that seemed to pull in bits of Stevie Wonder and 80's hits under a veneer of modern jazz.

Peacock, Copland, and Baron walked out to the sound of a full room clapping. Since the beginning of the night, there was not a word from the stage, but they sure said a lot.


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Jazztopad 2017: Concerts In Living Rooms Live Reviews Jazztopad 2017: Concerts In Living Rooms
by Martin Longley
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC Winter Jazzfest Live Reviews Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano Live Reviews Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano
by Keith Henry Brown
Published: January 13, 2018
Read Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café Live Reviews Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: January 2, 2018
Read Terence Blanchard at Christ Church Cranbrook Live Reviews Terence Blanchard at Christ Church Cranbrook
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 29, 2017
Read "Vossajazz 2017" Live Reviews Vossajazz 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Soule Indomitable at Nectar's" Live Reviews Soule Indomitable at Nectar's
by Doug Collette
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "Pat Martino Quintet at Chris' Jazz Cafe" Live Reviews Pat Martino Quintet at Chris' Jazz Cafe
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 26, 2017
Read "Grand Union Orchestra at Wilton's Music Hall" Live Reviews Grand Union Orchestra at Wilton's Music Hall
by Duncan Heining
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "Rene Marie at Dazzle" Live Reviews Rene Marie at Dazzle
by Geoff Anderson
Published: August 24, 2017