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Peter Zak: Down East

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Classy set by pianist Peter Zak, accompanied by the stellar rhythm tandem of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Rodney Green. Together they strike a swinging accord on Duke Pearson’s “Is That So?,” Thelonious Monk’s typically quirky “Gallop’s Gallop” and Clifford Brown’s bright, bristling “Tiny Capers.” Zak’s penchant for lyricism comes across on sublime renditions of Ellington’s “I Didn’t Know About You” and Gershwin’s “Who Cares?” He contributes spirited originals in “Sector 7” and the swinging 3/4 title track, and turns in a clever new arrangement of the old Bing Crosby chestnut from the ’30s, “Love Thy Neighbor,” in addition to reinventing Henry Mancini’s “Dreamsville” and bravely tackling Ornette Coleman’s chopsbusting “Invisible.” And his bossa-flavored “He Said/She Said” shows off yet another color of this chameleonic trio.

Originally Published