This abstract quartet recording by bassist Gary Peacock features Jan Garbarek on tenor and soprano saxes, Tomasz Stanko on trumpet, and Jack DeJohnette on drums. The interplay between Peacock and DeJohnette, captured roughly two years before the release of the first Keith Jarrett standards record, is especially interesting. One only wishes the horns weren't so tinny. Highlights include the freebopping "Moor" (a piece that dates back to the early '60s), the lyrical "Ode for Tomten," and the chill-inducing "Voice From the Past."
When this album was released in 1975 by Paul Bley's Improvising Artists label, the seven selections had been previously unheard. The five pieces from Mar. 9, 1964 (which feature pianist Bley, tenor-saxophonist John Gilmore, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian) were later released in a more complete form on the Savoy LP Turns. This was a unique onetime encounter between the innovative Bley (whose lyrical approach to free form improvising was quite different than that used by the high-energy players of the time) and Sun Ra's longtime tenor John Gilmore; "Ida Lupino" is the most memorable of these tracks. In addition there are a couple of trio performances ("Mr. Joy" and "Kid Dynamite") from a May 10, 1964 concert with bassist Peacock and drummer Billy Elgart that have not been released elsewhere. Very interesting if not quite essential music.
Some of Gary Peacock’s finest music has been made in piano trios. Early in his musical life, Peacock established a fresh role for the bass as an independent melodic voice, a concept carried forward in the history-making groups he’s played with – from Paul Bley’s Bill Evans’s trios to Keith Jarrett’s. As a bandleader he has also been influential: Tangents is the second release from the great bassist’s trio with Marc Copland and Joey Baron and draws on years of shared playing in diverse contexts.
For Keith Jarrett, this extremely satisfying concert with the Standards Trio on two CDs is a personal landmark, the first for-the-record sign that he had recovered from the chronic fatigue syndrome that laid him low for three years in the late 1990s. Indeed, by the time this Paris gig took place, he had come all the way back — his technical facilities intact (a handful of smeared notes aside), his inventiveness bubbling over. Old cohorts Gary Peacock (bass) and Jack DeJohnette (drums) are back, too, regenerating their propulsive, swinging, collective E.S.P. at will.