There’s still time, people. At 82 Gary Peacock, arguably the world’s premiere jazz bassist, is not just still getting better, he’s a hit a creative purple patch. The apparent demise of Keith Jarrett’s trio with Peacock and Jack DeJohnette, rather than dampen his enthusiasm, have proved a catalyst for him to return to leading his own bands, something he has down to stunning effect across the decades, but too rarely.
The second outing from his trio with pianist with pianist Marc Copland and drummer Joey Baron is more than a match for the first, and, crucially, provides another outlet for Peacock’s enigma-laden compositions. The one free improvisation, Empty Forest, epitomises the finesse with which Copland and Baron leave sonic space for the bass. This is not done in a self-conscious way, but as a consequence of their natural conversational instincts; of the way they use rests to accentuate meaning and cast auras around the notes (further irradiated by Manfred Eicher’s production). Through it all flows that magnificent double bass sound, with Peacock’s lines in constant dialogue between sinewy propulsion, tender lyricism and deep mysteries.