Marc Copland, Joey Baron and Gary Peacock at Birland, March 2014

17 Apr

This happened a few weeks ago, when three outstanding musicians filled Birdland, the 44th street club whose name was inspired by saxophonist Charlie Parker, with soothing and original melodies and sounds. On Friday March 21, the Birdland audience was shushing and faint sounds of silverware could be heard in between songs. But for the most part, listeners were very respectful of the musicians and their work.

Bass player Gary Peacock, pianist Mark Copland and drummer Joey Baron played standards such as “For Heaven’s Sake,” “Gloria’s Steps” and “Time Remembered,” as well as original compositions. Every tune was captivating as the musicians connected rhythmically, melodically and sonically.

The trio started the evening with “Estate,” which was made famous by Brazilian singer and guitar player Joao Gilberto. It was the right song to open the set with: smooth, sophisticated and yet as comfortable as a familiar piece of clothing.

Next came “Moor,” an original composition by Peacock, who has played with Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette for 31 years.  “Moor” was an experimentation with the drums: instead of using his sticks, Baron used his hands to start beating on his drums as if they were percussions.

One of the most memorable aspects of the performance may have been Peacock’s sound, which is uniquely warm and generous. This may reflect the musician’s practice of Zen bouddhism, which invites its practitioners to sit and do nothing.




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