Gary Peacock: Shift In The Wind (ECM 1165)

 

Gary Peacock
Shift In The Wind

Gary Peacock bass
Art Lande piano
Eliot Zigmund drums
Recorded February 1980 at Columbia Recording Studios, New York
Engineer: David Baker
Produced by Manfred Eicher

Though cataloged as a Gary Peacock joint, Shift In The Wind has Art Lande written all over it. It shows a different side of Peacock as he is taken in unforeseen directions by the grace of that delicate Lande touch. The latter’s pianism is majestic yet intimate in the opener, “So Green,” and sets the stage for an album in which he and Peacock share most of the compositional credit. The two consistently turn fleeting moments into epic sentiments, and vice versa, all the while thrown skyward by Eliot Zigmund’s hip sensibilities at the kit. With completion of these exercises, “Last First” comes as a fresh sunrise. With its solid arpeggios and bright rolls in the piano’s upper register, it teeters between reverie and jubilation, brought to fullest equilibrium in Peacock’s solo turn. The title track soars between whistles through detached mouthpieces, whispering piano, and percussion. So begins an abstract free-for-all which, like an ephemeral tornado of blown leaves, makes recognizable shapes out of stillness. This, along with “Fractions” and “Centers,” takes a divisional approach to the cumulative. “Caverns Beneath The Zoth,” on the other hand, funnels into a steady counterpoint. The trio lays the icing on the cake with “Valentine,” a precious ballad that exposes the magic of which Lande is capable at his best.

This is a vital session in the archives of everyone concerned, bringing home as it does a focused sense of craft, performance, and, above all, sensitivity. Lande, it bears repeating, dominates as much as one of his delicate sensibilities can, while Peacock carries his characteristically somber brand of exuberance to new depths.

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