Annette Peacock has been a defining influence on the music of ECM for many years, but An Acrobat's Heart is the first album she has made for the label as a leader. Here Peacock turns away from her previous work with electronic elements to produce a spare, ethereal set of compositions for voice, piano, and strings echoing the style of her early '80s album Skyskating. An Acrobat's Heart also marks the first time that Peacock has composed for strings, and the Cikada String Quartet's seamless accompaniment almost breathes with her. Silence and minimalism play major roles in this work, and both Peacock's voice and the accompanying instrumentation seem to bloom up from the quiet background and then dissipate again as quickly they appeared. The tones are clear and precise, but occasionally veer into dissonance as Peacock's wistful lyrics are fleshed out into holograms of sound, transparent but fully realized. Elements of jazz, blues, and torch songs ebb and flow throughout the album, adding to the nostalgic themes of romance and longing embodied by the lyrics. While seeming deeply personal, the lyrics are the weakest element of An Acrobat's Heart, lacking in the kind of poetic imagery and rhythm that would place them on a par with the quality of the surrounding music. Overall, however, this album proves that after over three decades as a performer, Annette Peacock still has the skill to compose and execute truly beautiful music.
This trio date is dedicated to the music of Annette Peacock, former wife of both pianist Paul Bley and bassist Gary Peacock. While Bley is the undisputed leader on this date (as he has recorded many of these pieces before), it is flügelhorn and trumpet player Franz Koglmann who arranged them in such an exquisite manner. The majority of the pieces included here were originally composed as songs. They were vehicles for expressing the interior, haunted world that Ms. Peacock inhabits and featured her lilting, edgy voice, which slips and slithers through her deceptively simple melodies before erupting into a shriek of ecstasy or pain.
The gathering of this trio in February of 2000 guaranteed little except that they had demonstrated ably – on Nothing Ever Was Anyway: The Music of Annette Peacock – the ability to play together almost symbiotically. This follow-up attempts to extend the trio's reach across Peacock's music and into the terrain of the trio as an entity in and of itself. That said, not all the pieces here are new; in fact, some of them are decades old – Marilyn Crispell's "Rounds" is from 1981, Gary Peacock's "Voices of the Past" and "December Greenwings" are both from the early '80s, and Paul Motian's "Conception Vessel/Circle Dance" is from the early '70s. The trio brings to these vintage pieces not only new eyes, but the freshness of this relationship and the willingness to reinvent them.
A set that definitely lives up to the poetry promised in its title – with none of the too-clean sounds you might guess from its hand-washing reference either! The album's one of the freest, most organic sessions we've heard from pianist Masabumi Kikuchi – almost improvised at points, but with a poetic cohesion in the piano lines that's really great – kind of an offbeat sense of lyricism that points in the same directions that Steve Kuhn or Keith Jarrett were heading in the late 60s. Drummer Masahiko Togashi plays lots of cool percussion and even a bit of gong – and Gary Peacock's bass here is as great as on any of his other excellent Japanese recordings. Titles include "Dreams", "The Trap", "The Milky Way", "Apple", "Get Magic Again", and "End".
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.
Richie Furay started his musical career playing folk clubs as a solo artist in the 1960s, as well as with bands like the Monks and the Au Go Go Singers (which included Stephen Stills in the lineup). After meeting Neil Young they formed Buffalo Springfield with Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin. The band cut its first album, Buffalo Springfield, in 1967; it included the single "For What It's Worth." Buffalo Springfield recorded two more albums – Buffalo Springfield Again and Last Time Around – before disbanding in 1968…
MINDMOVIE is the creative vehicle for German guitarist and composer Achim Wierschem. He's been an active musician for 35 years, and in progressive rock circles he may be best known for his long tenure in Flaming Bess - a band that was formed back in the '70s…