Some of Gary Peacock's finest music - including his new album, Tangents - has been made in the context of piano trios.
Early in his career, he helped to establish a fresh role for the bass as an independent melodic voice, an evolution carried forward in history-making groups led by pianists Paul Bley, Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett. Peacock made his leader debut on ECM in 1977 with Tales of Another, featuring the trio with Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette before it recorded famously under the pianist's leadership.
In the 21st century, one of Peacock's most striking vehicles has been his trio with pianist Marc Copland and drummer Joey Baron. The group earned just praise on both sides of the Atlantic for its initial ECM release, Now This, in 2015. The Guardian called it "captivating," while All About Jazz said: "These players are always in the present: listening, reacting, knowing when to play and when not to play."
These words apply just as aptly to Tangents, the group's exceptional follow-up. This trio's tensile strength - its muscular virtuosity tempered by poetic restraint - animates five originals by Peacock, one by Copland and two by Baron, along with a darkly atmospheric free improvisation and ravishing versions of two classics associated with Bill Evans: "Blue in Green" and "Spartacus."
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