Dave Peck Trio at Jazz Alley
Dave Peck and his trio with Jeff Johnson and Joe La Barbera came to Jazz Alley last week to work on their next live recording, and it was a real treat to be in the audience on Wednesday night. I've enjoyed Dave's playing and compositions for almost twenty years, and this outing at Jazz Alley was no exception.
I first met Dave Peck back in the summer of 1989. It was my first year attending the Centrum Jazz Workshop, the summer after my freshman of high school. Somehow, I ended up way over my head in a combo directed by, you guessed it, Dave Peck. We played Sun Ra -- who was Sun Ra?! I barely knew about Charlie Parker and Louis Armstrong, let alone Sun Ra. Within a few weeks after that workshop, I was taking piano lessons from Dave up at Cornish. I've told many people, including Dave himself, I learned more about jazz improvisation, harmony and theory in the year I studied with him than most of my formal music education has provided. And he doesn't just know this stuff, either -- he really knows how to use it.
The names that most often come to mind as influences when you talk about Dave Peck are probably people like Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans, but Dave Peck brings something all this own to the table. Whether it's with standards like How Deep is the Ocean and East of Sun, or jazz tunes like Soul Eyes, the trio of Jeff Johnson -- certainly one of the strongest and most creative bassists in the Northwest -- and Joe La Barbera -- Los Angeles mainstay drummer and veteran of the Bill Evans Trio -- along with Dave Peck is sure to delight in both intellectual and emotional ways. They have a number of recordings available, both from the studio and live, and I strongly encourage you to listen if you haven't heard him before. A true cornerstone of the Seattle and greater Northwest jazz scenes, you'd be hard pressed to find a pianist anywhere with the depth of Dave Peck, or for that matter, a trio of musicians with the commitment to interplay, listening, conversation, and melody as the Dave Peck Trio.