Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Peter Zak The Disciple Steeplechase 2014

 
The Disciple embraces the evolution of the modern artist, Peter Zak kills it!
 
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
Take an all star trio then add the influences of artists such as Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock and you have far more than the typical trio banging out some nicely arranged covers. Zak has the innate ability to channel the best bop and post bop pianists and thus create an organic collective that puts forth his own voice and this is the measure of a true artist. Far more than a pianist and two after thoughts, Peter Washington and Willie Jones III join in on a harmonic journey down the path of least resistance and with stellar results.
 
Again, not simply phoning this release in we find Peter Zak going deep catalog with "The Loop" from Chick Corea and "Requiem" which is an early Herbie Hancock gem. One of the better tracks (and there are no bad tracks) would include Horace Silver's "Nutsville" which makes an almost seamless transition from mambo to swing thanks to this A list rhythm section that joins in on a lyrical conversation that runs with the less is more zen like approach. Nothing pretentious can be found on The Disciple including "Prelude Op. 35 #2 from the Russian classical master Scriabin who oddly seems to pull some jazz voicings for a most unique sound given the period of time which was 1903. The closing open ended and original modal from Zak, The Disciple showcases just how far this pianist can reach.
 
Simplicity is the ultimate in sophistication. Peter Zak places his own artistic stamp on the music that would seem to have most guided his lyrical life yet allows them another chance to be heard in a pristine setting.
 
 
Tracks: The Loop; Montserrat; Barfly; Nutville; Prelude Op. 35#2; Requiem; Jackie; Cris Cross; Nightfall in Kandy; The Disciple.
 
Personnel: Peter Zak: Piano; Peter Washington: Bass; Willie Jones III: Drums.