Remembering Gary Peacock

May 12, 1935 – September 4, 2020


A tribute to the adventurous yet lyrical bassist

Bassist Gary Peacock passed away on September 4, 2020 at the age of 85.

Peacock was born May 12, 1935 in Burley, Idaho, growing up in Yakima, Washington.

He played piano, trumpet and drums before taking up the bass while in high school, permanently switching to bass while serving in the Army in Germany.

After his discharge, he worked in Germany for a little while, moved to Los Angeles, performed with Barney Kessel, Art Pepper, Don Ellis, Clare Fischer and Prince Lasha, and married singer-pianist Annette Peacock.

Gary Peacock was already exploring freer sounds beyond bebop when he moved to New York in 1962; among his many associations were working with the Bill Evans Trio (1963), the Jimmy Giuffre 3, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, George Russell, Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler (1964), and briefly with Miles Davis.

Starting in 1977, Peacock was a member of the Keith Jarrett Trio with drummer Jack DeJohnette for the next 40 years in addition to playing with other adventurous musicians such as Marilyn Crispell, Marc Copland, Lee Konitz and Bill Frisell, and leading a dozen albums of his own, mostly for ECM.

Here is Gary Peacock playing “The Prowler” as a duet with guitarist Ralph Towner from 2002.

Subscribe to Jazz on the Tube