Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gary Peacock – Voice From The Past (ECM, 1981)

Gary Peacock - bass

Jan Garbarek - tenor and soprano saxophones
Tomasz Stanko - trumpet
Jack DeJohnette - drums

Voice From The Past (ECM, 1981)

This is an all-acoustic group with no harmonic instruments (ex. piano or guitar) and, as such, is full of wonderful open spaces by the record label ECM, known to have the very highest standards of recording engineers and sound for many decades now.

Peacock in my humble opinion, is always at his very best on his recordings as a leader. His numerous sideman projects are all worthwhile but always venture near standards and/or piano trios. So it's always a very welcome thing to have a recording of Peacocks as the leader featuring his own compositions and using whatever instrumental combo he has in mind at he moment.

My guess is that Peacock was pleased enough with the outcome here to re-visit the same lineup: 2 horns, bass, and drums a few years later on another recording of his "Guamba", sadly which is out of print currently. "Guamba" also used the same musicians, save for Peter Erskine replacing Jack Dejohnette-who was probably busy with his incredible amount of studio and live work both as a leader and sideman at the time.

A large part of the success of this recording has to do, as mentioned, with the wonderful recorded sound- but there's also something about the totally acoustic setting. A warmth and humanity that seems lost nowadays (except for a few artists like Mr Peacock), but indeed was already lost in the early 1980's. Without playing standards or attempting to relive a bygone era of acoustic jazz or even classical music, the acoustic instrumentation certainly harkens back in time as a result of a beautiful, natural woody sound and the breath of the horns and well-recorded acoustic drums-all the while the compositions themselves are very much a part of modern jazz.

I first purchased this as a new release on vinyl back in 1982 and have now, finally, come around to picking up the CD. I'm very much looking forward to hearing this one again, and in the digital world!

1. Voice from the Past 2. Legends 3. Moor 4. Allegory 5. Paradigm 6. Ode for Tomten

By Phasedin

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