Dissertation Index



Author: Sabin, Robert W

Title: GARY PEACOCK: ANALYSIS OF PROGRESSIVE DOUBLE BASS IMPROVISATION 1963-1965

Institution: New York University

Begun: September 2008

Completed: January 2015

Abstract:

Analysts and educators have documented the techniques associated with the avant-garde jazz styles of the 1960s while omitting a serious analysis of a central collaborator from this period—bassist Gary Peacock. This work details the techniques and contexts surrounding of Peacock’s revolutionary and virtuosic performance practices while establishing him as a principal innovator of the era. This work contributes to a new understanding of progressive styles of improvisation and will demystify many of the elements of the recorded output that can often challenge the performer and educator.
This investigation examines Peacock’s singular idiom through a mixed-methods investigation into a three-year period (1963-1965). The examination uncovers the bassist’s unorthodox career, discography, and style during his emergent years in the New York City avant-garde. New methods of notation and analysis uncover Peacock’s innovative improvisational style via transcription of five complete performances that feature the bassist with Albert Ayler, Paul Bley, Bill Evans, and Paul Motian amongst others. These tracks epitomize Peacock’s singular use of rhythm, harmony, motive, and independence while documenting the exceptional interactive and virtuosic nature of his idiom. The conclusions of this analysis are the subject of lengthy interviews with the author and Peacock himself, placing these findings in the appropriate personal and historical context. This inquiry lays the groundwork for a better understanding of Peacock’s creative output, the era, double bass performance practice, the interactive nature of jazz improvisation, and the creative process of one of the bass’ most enigmatic virtuosos.


Keywords: Peacock, Bass, Jazz, Improvisation, Avant-garde, Ayler, Evans, Bley

TOC:

TABLE OF CONTENTS


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iii

LIST OF TABLES ix

LIST OF FIGURES x



I RESEARCH OBJECTIVE AND METHOD 1


II RELATED LITERATURE 21


III HISTORICAL AND DISCOGRAPHICAL SURVEY 44


IV DEMONSTRATIVE WORKS 101


V “I’LL SEE YOU AGAIN” 123


VI “SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN” 168


VII “LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY” 209


VIII “BLUES” 264


IX “GHOSTS: FIRST VARIATION” 313


X CONCLUSIONS 356

BIBLIOGRAPHY 368

APPENDICES 388

A GARY PEACOCK INTERVIEW PART I 389

B GARY PEACOCK INTERVIEW PART II 437

C Chronological Discography
(1963-1965) 486

D GUIDE TO NOTATION 489

E DRUM NOTATION 490


F MELODIC EMBELLISHMENTS 491

G COMPLETE TRANSCRIPTIONS 492



Contact:

Robert Sabin Ph.D.
(917) 743-8198
3149 Broadway #19
New York, NY 10027
robertsabinbass.com
bobsabin@me.com


Date Listed: 04/30/2015


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