If the Dave Peck Trio's first album is a harbinger of things to come, then all can look forward to future albums filled with truly innovative improvisation based on fresh melodic and harmonic ideas. They successfully engage the listener as they apply their ideas to the seven standards that comprise the play list. The leader of the Seattle-based group, Dave Peck has been playing professionally for more than 25 years, and the experience gained along the way shows up in the distinctive arrangements for jazz trio. The kick-off tune sets the tone for the whole session. An eight-minute unearthing of the nuances of Irving Berlin's "How Deep Is the Ocean" reveals a musical personality similar to early Dave Brubeck without the presence of Paul Desmond. Like the Brubeck group, the trio has the ability to take a rarely played ordinary tune like Frank Loesser's "The Inch Worm" and, by being creative, turn it into a tour de force. Starting off with the melody coming from Chuck Deardorf's bass, that lays down the foundation for Peck's piano to build on, results in an exotic and intensely modern performance. The exchange between each member of the trio on this tune and throughout the session is so close and intimate that the listener may feel like an intruder or voyeur. Dean Hodges' swishing brushes, delicate cymbals, and steadying drumming is the rhythmic glue that holds the group together. This is a self-produced undertaking on the charmingly named Let's Play Stella label. It would be a shame and jazz's loss if this group drops through the cracks because it lacks the resources to produce another album.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan