SSC3503 2003-07-29

Track List

Again Anew - 6:32
Pleiades Skirt - 2:12
Octavon - 2:13
Latin Genetics - 5:07
Workinoot - 4:37
Afternoon Of A Dawn - 5:33
Hand In Hand - 4:44
Satyr Satire - 2:41
Lull-A-Bye - 3:31
Twitter Pat - 1:35
Who\'S Who Is It? - 11:37
Gently, Gently - 2:11
Majestique - 3:06
Pot Lucky - 2:48
No Pun Intended - 3:08


Paul Bley - piano
Gary Peacock - bass

This is number 3 of the OWL series that Sunnyside is offering in the US. The french OWL label (now owned by Universal Music) became the most important French jazz label of the 80's. The quality of the recordings and the esthetic of the art made the reputation of the label.
What can be said of Paul Bley and Gary Peacock is that they’ve continually mixed with every single player whose relationship to jazz has been essentially poetic : angry or self-effacing perhaps, but poetic. What stands out in their approach and bonds them together is the delicacy of expression in their playing coupled with a dynamic use of space (interiority), a clear strand of intelligence, and an overall feel which springs out of friendship, and makes itself felt whether or not we know of their friendship.


Paul Bley had known and collaborated with Gary Peacock since 1962, so by the time this duo session was recorded, one could expect that a certain degree of musical empathy would be in play. And yes, here there is plenty of the give and take of two old friends who do not go along with the mainstream jazz program.

Yet one could also call this an album of twin monologues, for ten of the 15 tracks here are solo improvisations for each player, with the five duo numbers interspersed between them. Twice, a pair of Peacock's bass solos form a sandwich around a Bley solo track, setting up a symmetry that is fulfilled by the subsequent duo numbers. Moreover, on the first five minutes of the lengthy duo track "Who's Who Is It?," Bley and Peacock play their passages separately, one after another, before Peacock's free basslines stiffen sufficiently to provide a walking, swinging partner for Bley.

As for other duo tracks, the CD opens with a lovely duet bearing the significant title "Again Anew," and they put together a great Latin-flavored workout on Ornette Coleman's "Latin Genetics." The parting shot "No Pun Intended" is a humorous, atonal, avant-garde, extended-techniques adventure at the opposite stylistic pole of the opening track.

Without slighting Bley's contribution in the least, it is Peacock who makes the most inventive impression on this disc; his solos sustain high interest throughout -- a tough thing to pull off on the bass -- and his instrument is beautifully captured by the engineers. ~ Richard S. Ginell, All Music Guide