Recognized by the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in 2008, Bill Peterson has performed internationally in a variety of settings including the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York, the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Paraguay International Jazz Festival. Having received an NEA grant through the “merican Masterpieces’ program, Peterson has certainly not gone totally under the radar…
Here he teams with power-house bassist, Rodney Jordan (of the Marcus Roberts Trio) and dynamic young drummer, Jamison Ross (2012 Monk Competition winner) for a recording of original compositions that have been inspired by the likes of Monk, Montgomery, Silver, Peterson, James, Kelly, Roberts and Tyner… Evident in the names of the tunes, Peterson puts his personal touch on these ‘inspirational gems’ and together, the entire trio produces something very special.
”Ruby Diamond; Bill Peterson, piano…Talk about the ultimate ëëtributeíë record! Peterson heads a trio with Rodney Jordan, bass, and Jamison Ross, drums, on a tribute to some jazz greats, most of them fellow pianists. The opener, “Thelonious”, is quite Monkish in spots, but aside from the Monk character, holds its own as a quirky, bluesy starter “Wes” is an up tempo outing in the style of Montgomery’s clipped, fastpaced originals. And “Horace” brings a surging left hand and a hint of Horace Silver’s funk into the program. Next comes the surprise of the set: a beautiful rendition of the traditional tune, “Shenandoah.” If it doesn’t quite fit the thematic idea, well it’s okay “cause it’s really pretty. Next comes “Oscar,” and as one might expect, the tempo goes up a notch. “Bob James,” for me, is an odd choice, because while I know James is capable of playing the real deal, I only know of him as a “smooth jazzfusion” type player. Still, the melody is lyrical and lilting. This is followed by the power and presence of “Mr. Wynton Kelly,” another boppy and cool entry. The program is completed by additional tributes to “Marcus” (Roberts?) and “McCoy.” Aside from the idea of tributes to revered colleagues, the album holds its own as some very swinging piano trio jazz. And seeing that such a thing is rare today, that’s what I really liked about it.” – Jazz Society of Oregon