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Charlie Peacock: Love Press Ex-Curio

Nashville keyboardist and bandleader Charlie Peacock has amassed such a reputation as a gospel and pop producer as well as a session player that his early roots in jazz aren’t widely known. Peacock revisits his jazz heritage here with a set that won’t excite hard-bop buffs but will delight those who enjoy first-rate instrumental music. Peacock blends a jazz sensibility with rock/soul fervor, and he’s teamed with great players such as bassists Victor Wooten and James Genus, saxophonists Kirk Whalum, Jeff Coffin and Ravi Coltrane, drummer Joey Baron and trumpeter Ralph Alessi.

“Be Well Johnny Cash” combines a stirring contribution from guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel with great solos by Coffin and Alessi. The celebratory soul-jazz groover “When Diana Dances” features Whalum’s gritty tenor-sax playing, soulful trumpet from Alessi and nasty organ licks from Tower of Power’s Roger Smith. Peacock’s two solo-piano pieces–the jagged, octave-leaping “Dodo’s Whim” and the nimble “Frank the Marxist Memorial Gong Blues”–obliterate any questions about Peacock’s jazz viability.

Originally Published