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May 18 | Posted by: Robert Sabin

A pdf copy of my dissertation is available here: 




A hard copy will be available for purchase soon through the "Merch" section of this site.



Analysts and historians 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 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 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.

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