A native of the Pacific Northwest, Dave Peck is recognized as an outstanding composer, arranger and pianist and is known for his introspective style and rich harmonic coloring. Born in Tacoma, Washington in 1954, his father was a professional choir director and his mother was a singer who also played the trumpet. Playing trumpet and piano in high school, trumpet was Peck's first choice but he turned his concentration to piano after dental problems prevented him from playing the instrument. A sought after sideman, Peck has appeared with many great musicians, including Chet Baker, Joe Williams, Sonny Stitt, Lee Konitz, Art Farmer, Gary Peacock, Freddie Hubbard and Bud Shank.
On Good Road, the highly anticipated sequel to the Dave Peck Trio's live recording, Out of Seattle, Peck features bassist Jeff Johnson. Johnson joined Philly Joe Jones and his band when he was only 20 and has played with a veritable who's who of great jazz musicians. Cadence Magazine stated, He plays with a mystique that takes the music out of the ordinary with his inventive improvised lines."
Also included on the album is Joe La Barbera on drums. La Barbera has had a lengthy career in music that has taken him all over the world with the finest names in jazz. In 1978, he joined Bill Evans in what was to become a landmark trio. Regarded as a musical drummer and a supportive accompanist, La Barbera also played on Out of Seattle. Recorded in 2002 at Jazz Alley, Coda Magazine called the album a beautifully composed performance."
In an interview with Earshot Jazz, Peck speaks highly of his band-mates. They're very comfortable and easy to play with. They have huge ears and great sensitivity to the kinds of things I like to do. I like the idea that I don't really know what will happen and what the music is going to sound like. It just depends upon what the three of us are thinking that day."
As a solo artist, Peck has received many accolades. In 1999, Peck released a critically acclaimed solo album entitled Solo. On his next release 3 and 1 in 2000, audiences and jazz critics welcomed the album with rave reviews. JazzTimes critic David Franklin wrote, [3 and 1 is] an excellent example of how satisfying chamber jazz can be. This one's a keeper."
Good Road, recorded at Studio X in Seattle, features seven classic standards and one of Peck's originals. On this recording, Peck shows his affinity for ballads. It's my temperament, I guess," he explained to Earshot Jazz. I like to look at pretty things. The ballads seem to hold the most interest for me."
In a recent Seattle Times feature about Dave Peck's appearance on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz program for NPR to air during the week of June 28 (airdate for Seattle is July 2 at 5PM on 88.5 KPLU), writer Paul de Barros noted the feel of the record. Peck's new album features mostly lyrical ballads, but with a quietly distilled simplicity that feels new.
de Barros also quoted Ms. McPartland, who said Dave Peck is a pianist and composer who possesses great musicality, a sensitive touch and a lively sense of swing."
I'm famous for making harmonies more complex," says Peck, but I've also found that it's possible to actually simplify."