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January 7, 2014 / robinswood

Lemonade | new jazz from Charlie Peacock

CPplayingPiano

 

 

I’ve just given my first listen to Charlie Peacock’s brand new solo improvisational piano album, Lemonade. Charlie was one of the people who offered to read draft chapters of my book, and whose endorsement delights me whenever I see it there on the back cover:

Jamie Howison’s work on Coltrane is insightful and just what you’d hope for—a deeper, wider groove, a take on Coltrane that’s not been peddled to death. Read and be enriched.

Well, I’d have to say that I can say much the same of Peacock’s new record… listen and be enriched. Billed on the press release as “piano + imagination, that’s all,” most of the the twelve pieces on Lemonade are in the four to five minute range, making it feel like a sometimes playful exploration in musical ideas. Occasionally I found myself wishing that Peacock had stretched out more and let a particular piece really go, but then again limiting himself to shorter pieces does save things from ever sounding too earnest or self-important. And when on the eight minute album closer “Jude, as in Hey Jude” he does let allow his explorations a bit more free rein, you can definitely hear the sheer delight that he takes in playing.

And if you don’t happen to recognize his name, you might well be familiar with some of his work as a producer with the likes of The Civil Wars,  The Lone Bellow, and Holly Williams. Notably, he also produced the song “Misery Chain” for Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, which was included in the soundtrack to the film, 12 Years A Slave. Peacock’s 2012 album No Man’s Land – described in a Paste magazine review as a record that reaches “deep into the roots of American music” – was one of my favourites of that year.

You can listen to samples of all twelve pieces  from Lemonade on iTunes. But be warned: you may not be able to resist downloading a copy!

 

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