Artist:  Charlie Peacock
Title:  "Love Press Ex-Curio"
Label:  Emergent/RED

In this artist's choice review, L.A. Symphony’s Cookbook reviews Charlie Peacock’s new jazz album, which released exclusively in the general market. …

Charlie Peacock is truly carving out his own niche in the musical landscape with his latest release, "Love Press Ex-Curio" (Emergent/ RED). With a unique blend of pop arrangements, drum and bass rhythms and a jazz foundation, "Love" is a nice aural journey with very few low moments.

Peacock has assembled an impressive group of accomplished jazz musicians to jam with and recruited some drum and bass production legends to “fill in the blanks” with delicious ear candy. The end result:  a wonderful blend of structure and improv, form and freedom, and nine songs that break musical molds while never straying from the intended jazz format. Connoisseurs will delight in the outstanding contributions by sax faves Ravi Coltrane (son of the Coltrane), Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck, Van Morrison) and Kirk Whalum (Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand), keyboardist Roger Smith (Tower of Power), guitarist Jerry McPherson (Gladys Knight, Brian McKnight), dance maestros Venus Hum and many others.

What I love about these songs is the way they move. Some start with more straight-ahead pop grooves that seamlessly morph into standard jazz improv, then into a groove reminiscent of acid jazz, while others feel like you’re listening to a great Blue Note standard, and next thing you know, programmed drums and synth sounds take you in a totally different direction -- while somehow staying 100 percent cohesive as a song.

Certain moments, however, find the drum programs feeling a little dated. Like an old Soul II Soul or Us3 track. But listening to the record as a whole, I don’t seem to mind that throwback feeling. There’s still the overall feeling of satisfaction I get from listening to a great CD.

 

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