164

Rick Peckham: Left End

By

Sign in to view read count
The opening twangy guitar riff off the title track of guitarist Rick Peckham’s Left End suggests an edge usually associated with rock music, a feeling solidified by the propulsive groove of drummer Jim Black and bassist Tony Scherr (both with plenty of rock in their backgrounds) to push the leader’s statement further. And that’s just the first 30 seconds.

Peckham’s debut as a leader draws on early classic rock guitar influences for sound and attitude and infuses them with improvisational daring and sophisticated harmony. The resultant blend, in this capable trio’s hands, reminds listeners that “fusion” doesn’t have to be a pejorative word. This is exemplified on “353-1001,” when the group locks into the rollicking odd-time opening. After a guitar solo over the halting bass line and skittering drums, the tune devolves into a more spacious exploration of quiet dynamics and sonic textures, until Black rebuilds the quirky groove, returning the group to the head.

The mid-tempo feel of tunes like “Mr. Medium” and “You Know What That Means” feature Peckham’s more cleanly phrased and slick guitar runs. Open-formed pieces, including “Hawthorn” and “Soporific,” highlight the trio’s ability to coax an array of sound from their instruments and patience for subtle nuance. These qualities were evident at the group’s CD release show at Tonic last month, which allowed for extended improvisations. This was especially apparent in the middle of “Hammer Damage,” with Peckham meandering amid Scherr’s percussive bowing and Black’s assortment of toy bells and steel bowls. Also highlighted was how seamlessly Peckham changes his guitar sound—“Gibbons” went from a growling riff and aggressive rhythm to a mellower, moody section and back again without dropping a note or a beat.

Left End is a new chapter in the tradition of the “power trio.” Peckham’s concise composing serves an array of sonic textures and unexpected twists, with a healthy dose of attitude and wit.

Visit Rick Peckham on the web.


Track Listing: Left End; 353-1001; Mr. Medium; Shakey; Free 2; Gibbons; Soporific; You Know What That Means; Hammer Damage; Hawthorn; Real Time; Free 1; Evidence

Personnel: Rick Peckham (electric guitar), Tony Scherr (acoustic bass), Jim Black (drums)

Title: Left End | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Perfected Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Cherry ‎– Sakura CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Blow, Strike & Touch CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Garden(s)" CD/LP/Track Review Garden(s)
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 14, 2017
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Infância" CD/LP/Track Review Infância
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "Find the Way" CD/LP/Track Review Find the Way
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 26, 2017
Read "Introducing...Rubén González" CD/LP/Track Review Introducing...Rubén González
by James Nadal
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Parking Lot Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review Parking Lot Symphony
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 3, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.