Gary Peacock info?

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Chad Ball, Feb 9, 2002.

  1. Hello all!
    Would anybody out there have any idea where I might find info on Gary Peacock? He has been my favourite bassist since day one, but I find it very difficult to locate info specifically on him (ie technique, approach, etc.). Everything I find usually begins well enough, but quickly deviates into a discussion on Keith Jarrett.
    Any help is welcome.

  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Here's where you can get an instructional video that he did. His sound is pretty bad on much of it, as it is being picked up by his lapel mic. His approach is a little scattered, but it's neat to see him hang out and talk about bass, music, etc. is a great search engine in case you haven't tried it yet.
  3. RHFusillo

    RHFusillo Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ
    Peacock is my favorite of the post-LaFaro bassists, but I've always found him to be something of a shadowy figure. What I know about him is that he played on Albert Ayler's early recordings, like "Spiritual Unity." Even if you don't like Ayler's music, Peacock's playing with Sunny Murray's free drumming is remarkable. He also recorded with Bill Evans, on the album "Trio 64." He seemed to have fallen off the planet during the mid 1970's -- the AMG website says that he was studying biology. Later, he re-emerged on some ECM recordings and then started recording with Jarrett.

    You can get a discography and a little bit of biography on the AMG website,
  4. I'm a big Gary Peacock fan also. I thought his video offered very valuble insights into his concepts and playing, and would reccomend it. It does take a few veiwings, as he says a lot in a small amount of time.

    Trio 64 is one of the most amazing trio records ever.

    If you haven't allready, check out the stuff with Paul Bley. Also, his duo records with Ralph Towner are absolutley beautiful.
  5. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Houston, Tx
    He is from the west coast. the earliest lp I own with him is a Bud Shank LP that is a soundtrack for a surf movie. Then there is a Prince Lasha/Sonny Simmons lp.
    He moved east and played with a lot of musicians in '60s, Bley, Lowell Davidson, Milford graves, Ayler, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Roswell Rudd, Don Cherry and many others. Most of it is still in print on ESP records. He even made an lp in Amsterdam with Misha Menglberg and Han Bennink.
    Durring this time he studied with virtuoso bassist David Izenzon.
    In the '70s he moved to japan to study budhism (sp?) and a made a few records there with Japanese improvisors, I have one of them.
    When he came back he started recording for ECM. He formed what became the Jarrett trio for his lp "Tales of Another". Keith actually wanted to do his standards project with Paul Motion, who said no.
    He always sounds great, the only cd I have ever not liked by him was an limp, boring duo with Bill Frizzle.
    I saw him last year in Berkeley with Jarrett and he sounded amazing.
    He has some hearing troubles at this point and uses an an inner ear monitor.
  6. dperrott


    Oct 3, 2005
    I am also a huge Peacock fan. I think the instructional video is a great way to learn some of his concepts. He gives a lot of information. I watch it now and then and just work on bits and pieces. If you watch the video from beginning to end, it can be over whelming. I know he is very into ear training. He is an advocate of being able to sing what you play and play what you can sing. He is interviewed on the dvd about Keith Jarrett the art of improvisation. He talks about just letting the music happen. He lives upstate NY but is reclusive. A few years ago he had some health problems. I think he is doing well now.
  7. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    I went to see him with Ralph Towner at Sweet Basils in the early 80s. They sounded great. I brough along my Gary Peacock solo album along and he signed it. He was talking to a couple of other bassists at the table with him about the bass he used on the album, a Czech bass that he was playing on the back of the album cover. It was cool for me as a 21 year old to hear these famous guys talking about different basses and hanging out. Did I say he sounded great.
  8. gary peacock & the info he lays down in that homespun dvd is worth the purchase & a must for all bassists. it's somewhat advanced, with a fair dose of theory...& as dperrott stated above, it's "best to take it in pieces". it's an excellent lesson from a contemporary of lafaro, gary peacock can do it all get it.

    do the following items intrigue you about gary peacock (like they do me)...that you want to know more...or why about this master bassist:

    1.peacock's abilities, technique & style, are similar to scott lafaro's. while they are's interesting that a cat from rural idaho could parallel a cat from north jersey.
    both bass geniuses...from totally different environments.

    2.peacock's sound is so full on the 2 duet cd's with ralph towner, yet somewhat thin & tinny, on the "at the blue note" cd & the "trio concert" 1996 dvd, both with keith jarrett. (especially his solos). why is his sound "thin" ? aside from the recording aspect, he is possibly the only player i'm aware of that uses an "english" carved bass, vs the more popular other european basses. is this a reason?

    3.he married annette peacock...a beautiful, unique & talented singer / songwriter / artist, but for only for a real short time, before she moved on, with pianist paul bley...approximately within a years time. yet she has kept peacock's name all these years, like carla bley has kept paul bley's name.

    4. at the very end of the homespun dvd, gary plays a familiar & catchy "standard" tune...that is not listed on the dvd, & i cannot remember the name of. does anyone know this song title? thank you ahead o time.
  9. Toy Sun

    Toy Sun

    Nov 21, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Discounted Gear: Eden Amps
    New to the forum, really cool!
    I studied with Gary for a year and a half. This was in Seattle in 1985 or so. He has been a huge influence on my playing, on my life, on my bass teaching, and music, of course.
    We approached the bass quite obliquely at times (sometimes the bass didn't come out of the case) but other times it was all about "tips n' tricks". You had to "earn" that, though.

    Lots of ear training, singing, and also I brought him my compositions, which he was way more interested in than bass playing.

    I'll try and add some stories from time to time.


  10. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I love the story my friend told me... he knew Gary from the Pacific Northwest for quite some time. So Gary winds up in "the trio", and my friend asks him, "So...what's it like working with Keith and Jack?"... expecting some kind of spiritual epiphany from Gary. His answer... "Pretty f***in' great!" :D
  11. mrpc

    mrpc Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Dig out the old interviews. You'll find thtat he admits to having the same bad "diet" that fueled many musicians of the early '60's era. Yeah, they drank from the same well.

    That wast then, and this is now, though.
  12. ablumley


    Jul 25, 2006
    I love Peacock's bass playing, especially his work with Murray and Ayler (the Spiritual Unity LP among others). A friend of mine studied with him a few years back. One thing that Gary stressed was ear training. Apparently he will take a note-say C for example-and then practice hearing it in different positions in the scale (first as the root, then as the second, or the minor seventh, flat fifth etc.). I will have to pick my friend's brain to get some more information...

    I also went to see the Standards trio about six years ago in Toronto at Roy Thompson Hall and was completely disappointed with the thinness of Peacock's sound. It only took me a few more trips to that venue before I realized that a giant concrete hall does not do nice things to the tone of a double bass. Apparently it has been renovated and the sound has improved.
  13. bassame


    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    Yes, that technique is a significant part of his exposition in the video described above. Well worth a look.
  14. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    When I was studying bass with George Cass, Gary Peacock was playing piano at a little club on the Skyway going up to George's pad in Paradise, CA. That was in l973 or 74. I went in and listened to him for a little while one night and told George about it and he said something like, 'well you know he's really a bass player".
  15. anonymous8547j7d7b

    anonymous8547j7d7b Guest

    Jul 1, 2005
    The tune at the end of the video is "Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans" if memory serves. Also, I found out recently that Gary Peacock depped for Ron Carter in the "Miles Smiles" band for some west coast dates Ron couldnt manage - wonder if there's any recordings anywhere:hyper:
  16. thanks for the heads up jay. i actually played it at a recent holiday party gig...called right out of the volume II real book, by my pianist. imagine my surprise!
  17. heads up...jarrett / peacock / dejohnette at carnegie hall,
    june 21-07.

    these days, they're playing in europe alot...good they're still performing, especially after keiths & garys recent health issues.

    never caught this trio before & i'm already there.
  18. Ale


    Jul 5, 2006
    Endorsing Artist: IGiG Cases
    Peacock is amazing.
    Its really cool to see how his playing and tone have changed from the very early free form stuff with Albert A , to the modern stuff with Keith.
    Great player , great tone , great improviser.
  19. I used to have a quintet album Gary did with Harold Land......he just plays straight ahead, actually a bit like Leroy Vinnagar on it, but with more of an edge. This was when he was studing with my Red Mitchell. Similar to some of Scotties work as in the Pat Moran Trio stuff. He was similar to Scott in a couple of ways.....I heard when he first moved to NY, he spent a bunch of time driving cabs. Bill Evans told me this by the way.
    He was studing with Red about the same time Charlie Haden was.
  20. neal davis

    neal davis

    Dec 29, 2006
    toronto canada
    Hey Damon is that the barefoot adventurer soundtrack? I was watching that movie last night and was very suprised to say the least. What is the title of the album