Gary Peacock: Voice from the Past – PARADIGM (ECM 1210)

ECM 1210

Gary Peacock
Voice from the Past ­– PARADIGM

Gary Peacock bass
Jan Garbarek tenor and soprano saxophones
Tomasz Stanko trumpet
Jack DeJohnette drums
Recorded August 1981, Talent Studio, Oslo
Engineer: Jan Erik Kongshaug
Produced by Manfred Eicher

Jazz, sometimes, is like acting: a group of performers starts with a script of prewritten material, which then must be spun into a convincing world of characters. This is not to say that the music isn’t genuine. Quite the contrary: through the art of improvisation, through the indeterminacies of creative interaction, these musicians reveal their ability to give themselves to the moment, at the same time expressing something so deeply personal that one could never mistake their diction for that of anyone else. Saxophonist Jan Garbarek (in one of his more creative sessions) and trumpeter Tomasz Stanko play their roles with gusto on this formative recording from bassist Gary Peacock, whose dialogues with Jack DeJohnette in tunes like “Ode for Tomten” give us shades of their upcoming journey in Keith Jarrett’s trio. Our two horns slink as easily into the opening saunter of “Voice from the Past” as they do into more honed territories like “Moor” and the album title’s second half. Stanko is on slow fire in “Legends,” which also sports a fascinatingly threaded solo from Peacock, while “Allegory” fills for us a deep, earthy caldron that bubbles with DeJohnette’s percolations.

Like the surname of its composer, this music surprises the more it unfurls. Come for Peacock’s mature writing, stay for the fantastic soloing, and leave knowing you’ve gained a new perspective. One not to be buried.

<< Lester Bowie: The Great Pretender (ECM 1209)
>> Art Ensemble of Chicago: Urban Bushmen (ECM 1211/12)

One thought on “Gary Peacock: Voice from the Past – PARADIGM (ECM 1210)

  1. Even for ECM this one seems to be among the more “forgotten”, or at least overlooked discs. Yet it’s one of the very first discs (along with “December Poems”) that I think of when I think of Peacock as a leader in his own right. I love this disc-I have the original vinyl, yet rarely bothered to play any vinyl for many years. When I bought the CD I realized that I probably hadn’t heard the disc for maybe 20 years, and it was like a visit from an old friend that you don’t realize you missed as much as you did until you see them again. For sure it will never be 20 years between plays for me ever again. I even remember looking at the unique line-up in the old ECM catalog before I first purchased it-wondering what it would sound like with a harmonic instrument in sight-just 2 horns, bass, and drums. Of course I knew the ECM engineers would pull out all the nuance and subtlety that this unique grouping of instruments calls for. I love the space in this recording and believe it is truly one of the prime examples of what ECM junkies (like myself) are referring to when they mention the ECM sound-. Sad that only the already converted ECM fans are probably the only ones that will ever hear this because it deserves a much wider audience for sure…

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