“a riveting duet…for its wealth of uncanny empathy, liberal doses of chance-taking, and raw-boned musicality,
Just So Happens is one of the finest jazz albums of the year.” — Jazziz
Pairing two Jazz & music legends, this Postcards album, Gary Peacock & Bill Frisell: Just So Happens, presents the fascinating combination of celebrated bassist Gary Peacock with eclectic guitar guru Bill Frisell. Together, the duo construct original compositions, play a poignant, affecting version of “Good Morning Heartache,” and surprise the listener with their fresh interpretations of two traditional American tunes, “Home on the Range” and “Red River Valley.” Just So Happens also features Peacock playing bowed bass for the first time on a recording since his work with Albert Ayler in the 1960’s.
“4 STARS!…Peacock turns in a masterful, always musical performance, and…
his warm, woody tone [is recorded] with exceptional presence and depth.” — Down Beat Magazine
One the most melodically inclined bassist in Jazz, Gary Peacock has become a renowned figure in Jazz by performing his daring, warm yet big, fluid yet pensive, bass sounds alongside renowned musicians such as Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, and Keith Jarrett. His collaborator for this musical expedition is the famed guitarist Bill Frisell. Whether performing classic Jazz standards with Elvis Costello or ambient musings & abstractions alongside John Zorn, Bill Frisell’s style is uncontainable. His awesome technique and ability to control the timbres and harmonics of his instrument creates a astonishingly original sound that transcends the constraints of style, making the resonances from his guitar recognizable whether he is playing Jazz, Folk, World or Rock music.
“Frisell just has a knack for coaxing the most inviting sounds out of the instrument, and the composition skills to put them
in just the right order. Combine a Colorado youth given to soul and C&W with solid jazz training, abetted by a decade-long
residency in the heart of NYC’s avant scene, multiplied by a fun factor of X (he has scored Buster Keaton’s films) and
you’ve got a recipe damn near perfection.” – The Mirror
For this Postcards CD, Gary Peacock & Bill Frisell: Just So Happens, Bill Frisell, who plays both acoustic & electric guitar on the recording, and Bass giant Gary Peacock create an imaginative album that while simultaneously respecting and reflecting the influence of Jazz, also constructs a new music that pushes past its traditional boundaries. In short, the recording is a magical collaboration between two astounding artists.
1. Only Now
|Gary Peacock – bass
Bill Frisell – guitars
The pairing of Bill Frisell and Gary Peacock is sheer delight as their respective careers in jazz and beyond are well documented. Peacock’s deep, resonant wooden tone along with Frisell’s at times cosmic inventions work extremely well in this setting. Pieces such as “Only Now” and “In Walked Po” are engaging forays into inventive dialogue, brief jagged statements and clever articulations. The duo often sound as if they were putting a jigsaw puzzle together from scratch! Their rendition of the American classic “Home On The Range” is often bluesy in scope yet with Frisell’s astonishing technique and gregarious phrasing, – the tune evolves into an ethereal dreamscape. On “Reciprocity” Peacock displays his commanding presence as Frisell’s weaving tapestries of tonal colors offer elegance and contrasts well with Peacock’s deft single note statements. Frisell picks up the acoustic guitar on the laid back “Good Morning Heartache” while vivid imagery prevails on “Just So Happens”. Throughout, Frisell and Peacock lay it on the line via simple elegance, finesse and improvisation of the highest order although most if these compositions are structured yet maintain a relaxed and loose vibe. Recommended – * * * 1/2
All of the “Postcards” releases feature audiophile sound quality as Arkadia looks to continue the tradition with new releases and back catalog reissues such as Just So Happens and others. For additional information you can check the Arkadia web page at www.arkadiarecords.com
Glenn Astarita, allaboutjazz.com
ABOUT GARY PEACOCK
Bassist Gary Peacock has played a major role in the development of avant garde jazz. He has worked with the likes of Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Barney Kessel, Don Ellis, Terry Gibbs, Shorty Rogers, the Paul Bley Trio, Jimmy Giuffre, Roland Kirk and George Russell, among others. His recorded output is enormous — ECM Records alone lists thirty CDs on which he is featured. He has collaborated frequently with Ralph Towner in duet format, and since the late ’70s has played and recorded in a world-renowned trio with Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette.
Peacock’s musical career has indeed spanned many musical styles and decades. Born in Idaho, Peacock became serious about music when he was 13, and played drums and piano before recognizing the acoustic bass as his true instrument. Since 1957, he has played and recorded with both “mainstream” and “avant-garde” jazz luminaries, including Art Pepper, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Albert Ayler, Paul Bley, Jimmy Giuffre, Jan Garbarek, Tony Williams, Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett, and Herbie Hancock. He has also ventured into world music, recording with both guitarist Laurendo Almeida and sitarist Ravi Shankar.
Starting with Down Beat’s “New Star” Award in 1963, Peacock has received much critical recognition over the years. More recently, his Standards Trio recordings with Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette have garnered several Grammy nominations and awards in France, Japan, and Germany.
A teacher as well as a composer and performer, Peacock developed the Music Theory and Harmony Program at Cornish College in Seattle. He currently offers workshops and master classes worldwide, including a recent project at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
ABOUT BILL FRISELL
Bill Frisell’s career as a guitarist and composer has spanned more than 40 years and many celebrated recordings, whose catalog has been cited by Downbeat as “the best recorded output of the decade.”
“Frisell has had a lot of practice putting high concept into a humble package. Long hailed as one of the most distinctive and original improvising guitarists of our time, he has also earned a reputation for teasing out thematic connections with his music… There’s a reason that Jazz at Lincoln Center had him program a series called Roots of Americana.” – New York Times
Recognized as one of America’s 21 most vital and productive performing artists, Frisell was named an inaugural Doris Duke Artist in 2012. He is also a recipient of grants from United States Artists, Meet the Composer among others. In 2016, he was a beneficiary of the first FreshGrass Composition commission to preserve and support innovative grassroots music.
Upon San Francisco Jazz opening their doors in 2013, he served as one of their Resident Artistic Directors. Bill is also the subject of a new documentary film by director Emma Franz, entitled Bill Frisell: A Portrait, which examines his creative process in depth.
Over the years, Frisell has contributed to the work of such collaborators as Paul Motian, John Zorn, Elvis Costello, Ginger Baker, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Suzanne Vega, Loudon Wainwright III, Van Dyke Parks, Vic Chesnutt, Rickie, Lee Jones, Ron Sexsmith, Vinicius Cantuária, Marc Johnson (in “Bass Desires”), Ronald Shannon Jackson and Melvin Gibbs (in “Power Tools”), Marianne Faithful, John Scofield, Jan Garbarek, Lyle Mays, Vernon Reid, Julius Hemphill, Paul Bley, Wayne Horvitz, Hal Willner, Robin Holcomb, Rinde Eckert, The Frankfurt Ballet, film director Gus Van Sant, David Sanborn, David Sylvian, Petra Haden and numerous others, including Bono, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell and Daniel Lanois on the soundtrack for Wim Wenders’ film Million Dollar Hotel.
“For over ten years Bill Frisell has quietly been the most brilliant and unique voice to come along in jazz guitar since Wes Montgomery. In light of this, it may be easy to overlook the fact that he may also be one of the most promising composers of American music on the current scene.” – Stereophile
“Bill Frisell is the Clark Kent of the electric guitar. Soft-spoken and self-effacing in conversation, he apparently breathes in lungfuls of raw fire when he straps on his (guitar)…His music is not what is typically called jazz, though it turns on improvisation; it’s not rock’n roll; and it sure ain’t that tired dinosaur called fusion. In one of the biggest leaps of imagination since the Yardbirds and Jimi Hendrix, Frisell coaxes and slams his hovering split-toned ax into shapes of things to come…But besides being a guitar genius, he’s turned into a terrific songwriter. Like Monk, Frisell’s harmonic and melodic ideas form a succinct, seamless mesh with outer sonic and rhythmic ideas about his ax.” – Spin
This musical kinship with Miles Davis has been cited repeatedly in the music press. The New Yorker notes: “Bill Frisell plays the guitar like Miles Davis played the trumpet: in the hands of such radical thinkers, their instruments simply become different animals. And, like Davis, Frisell loves to have a lot of legroom when he improvises–the space that terrifies others quickens his blood.”