Bassist Gary Peacock (1935-2020) made his first recordings in the West Coast between 1959 and 1962. He was in his mid-20s when he arrived in Los Angeles, and although his talent was starting to get some recognition, not many would have counted Peacock among the most proficient young bassists in jazz. After the release of these recordings, there were few who wouldn't have.
Before him, the most prominent new bassists of the early 1960s were Scott LaFaro, followed by Charlie Haden, Steve Swallow and Chuck Israels. LaFaro's unexpected death in 1961 was a great loss because we most likely missed on further developments he would have contributed to the role of bass in jazz. Gary Peacock's push for innovation was a win for the same reason. The Peacock who suddenly burst in 1962 onto recordings with Jimmy Woods, Clare Fischer and with Don Ellis and Paul Bley was among the most challenging young musicians in jazz, a bassist learning to make his way into the most advanced groups. His playing had come far since his recordings with Bud Shank or Carmell Jones two years earlier, in an evolution that had no turning back.
Gary Peacock was sure that “although you may have an idea of where you are in your work, a record will show you where you really are —you and anyone else who hears it.” Listening to this compilation of his early recordings, you may find the answer.
01. Willow Weep for Me (Ann Ronell) 7:28
02. Blues in the Surf (Bud Shank) 5:04
03. Stranger (Gary Peacock) 4:02
04. I’m Gonna Go Fishin’ (Ellington-Lee) 11:12
05. Donkey (Carla Bley) 4:37
06. Not Yet (Jimmy Woods) 7:58
07. Free Too Long (Clare Fischer) 7:30
08. Liddledabllduya (Gary Peacock) 3:58
09. Form (Don Ellis) 10:12
10. I Love You (Cole Porter) 5:15
11. New Groove (Bud Shank) 6:47
12. Blues for Home (Clare Fisher) 5:12
Track #1, from "Carmell Jones - Previously Unreleased Los Angeles Session (FSRCD 867)
Track #2, from "Bud Shank - Bud Shank with Maynard Ferguson-Stu Williamson & Bob Enevoldsen" (Crown CLP 5311, also on FSRCD 606)
Tracks #3,7,10 & 12, from "Clare Fisher - First Time Out" (Pacific Jazz Stereo 52)
Track #4, from "Carmell Jones - The Remarkable" (Pacific Jazz Stereo-29)
Track #6, from "Jimmy Woods - Awakening!!" (Contemporary S7605)
Tracks #5 & 9, from "Don Ellis - Essence" (Pacific Jazz Stereo-55)
Tracks #8 & 11, from "Bud Shank - New Groove" (Pacific Jazz Stereo-21)
Track #1: CARMELL JONES QUARTET
Carmell Jones (tp), Forrest Westbrook (p), Gary Peacock (b), Bill Schwemmer (d).
Recorded at Forrest Westbrook’s studio, at 2021 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, California, August 1960
Track #2: BUD SHANK QUARTET
Bud Shank (as), Billy Bean (g), Gary Peacock (b), Chuck Flores (d).
Recorded at Pacific Enterprises Inc./ Rex Studios, Los Angeles, April 18, 1959
Tracks #3, 7, 10 & 12: CLARE FISCHER TRIO
Clare Fischer (p), Gary Peacock (b), Gene Stone (d).
Recorded at Pacific Enterprises Inc./ Rex Studios, Los Angeles, April 12 & 14, 1962
Track #4: CARMELL JONES QUINTET
Carmell Jones (tp), Harold Land (ts), Frank Strazzeri (p), G. Peacock (b), Leon Petties (d).
Recorded at Pacific Enterprises Inc./ Rex Studios, Los Angeles, June 30, 1961
Track #6: JIMMY WOODS QUARTET
Jimmy Woods (as), Dick Whittington (p), Gary Peacock (b), Milt Turner (d).
Recorded at Contemporary Records, Los Angeles, February 19, 1962
Tracks #5 & 9: DON ELLIS QUARTET
Don Ellis (tp), Paul Bley (p), Gary Peacock (b), Nick Martinis (d).
Recorded in Los Angeles, July 14 & 16, 1962
Tracks #8 & 11: BUD SHANK QUINTET
Carmell Jones (tp), Bud Shank (as), Dennis Budimir (g), Gary Peacock (b), Mel Lewis (d).
Recorded at Pacific Enterprises Inc./ Rex Studios, Los Angeles, February 22, 1961
Original recordings produced by Dick Bock, except #1 by Forrest Westbrook, and #6 by Lester Koenig