ALBUM REVIEW Geoff Peters Trio's Quiet Night gets existential, impulsive Christopher Lacroix July 24, 2009 A Vancouver jazz ensemble scratches out a second long-play that's, at times, wry-witty; at times, rye whisky. Geoff Peters Trio's Quiet Night is part original and part cover, recorded on an old Steinway grand. It's also an exploration of self. It entertains many philosophies but arrives at a humbling conclusion. The lads, their followers are beginning to learn, are thoughtful but more neurotic with every release. The trio tight rope walks on the edge of jazz and pop, mainstream and creativity. What else could you expect from a city that produces jazz greats of that kind. The group follows Diana Krall, Michael Buble and others. But pianist Geoff Peters says Keith Jarret, Bill Evans and Kenny Barron are greater influences. Listeners might also detect elements of Brad Mehldau's Trio, the Bad Plus and the Chick Corea New Trio. Peters authors the album differently from his first. For starters, he throws away his sheet music. The idea is to be spontaneous -- to make every note live for it's own sake, not simply because it was written. He takes the skeleton of his first track and massages it into something organic and fresh, even to him. Then, he does it 13 times. Maybe it's his sense of humour that has him place the title track back into ink and sell it as instructional sheet music. Part of the album's distinctiveness comes from the percussion: Greg Murray, an indie rocker who drops tastes of the genre on this track and that. He's happy to have no visual cues. 'The less we rely on reading the sheet music, the better we play,' he says. 'We can pay more attention to one another without the distraction of the written chart. Better focus and interaction allows us to stray from the traditional version of the song further than we normally could, allowing us to come up with something more unique, new and exciting.' Mark White adds soul on the bass guitar. Producer Alan Wong Moon is normally a film and video-game audio engineer. His background gives the cuts a dramatic sensibility. Moon made no cuts within the songs; they're presented as they were performed. Don't be misled by the opening track. It's there to fool you. Delicate plays coy. It's mature, sobre three-four sounds dupe an audience. No waltz should erupt into a climax of mania and, so, it rejects it's own genre. The title track picks up on the success of the group's latest video with an extended cut. The song pokes through an evening's lethargy: delusion, that's the secret. Of course, the song, like hysteria, winds up the way it began and goes to sleep alone. For Kris is that inevitable musing that love is somehow the key to fulfillment. Swingy, jocular, a piano pronounces an ode to some object of desire. The feeling passes. Another piece, a bossa nova on the open water, can't explain why a glass of wine (who knows what colour) splashes in one's hand. Why the need to thin the blood to keep from bleeding? The last original song of the album is the closest the musings and anyone can come to self understanding. It blankets the pain in sarcasm and moves on. The measures are neither triumphant nor lamenting. Like life, they merely exist. The track is named Balance in All Things. The album also puts a spin on jazz standards, notably Miles Davis' All Blues, Wayne Shorter's Footprints and Joe Henderson's Recordame. Geoff Peters Trio's Quiet Night is available on gpeters.com and iTunes. -30- BAND BIO Geoff Peters Trio rocks Vancouver jazz scene Christopher Lacroix July 24, 2009 Geoff Peters Trio plays to the swank and sophistication of Vancouver's downtown corporate crowd when office hours are over. It's Tuesday night, in the spring, at the Cactus Club Cafe on West Vancouver's Main Street. The band's namesake pianist, a drummer and bassist assemble their equipment. The suits trickle in. The wine trickles out. Peters says he loves a good piano. His newest album, Quiet Night, was performed on the finest: a Steinway grand. He often tries to find his way to the Four Seasons Hotel; it has a spunky, little Yamaha he likes to touch. 'We have played there probably 30 times,' Peters says. The two instruments are altogether different but equally respected to the classically trained musician. His music is the same way: never a waltz, bossa nova, lounge or latin and, yet, all of those -- even a hint of rock. 'The style of music allows me to be creative and express myself,' he explains. It's the reason clubs like the Cactus turn to him to set a distinct atmosphere. It's the reason his summer is booked solid with venues, private events and celebrations. Peters played the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. He's banking gigs and attracting attention from the industry. He's 28. Classical guitarist Derek Soros says Peters provides 'silky, smooth piano sounds reminiscent of Bill Evans.' 'I used to have sheet music for all the songs but now I have our whole repertoire memorized,' Peters says. 'I can play four-hour gigs without looking at any paper.' That drummer stationed behind Peters is Greg Murray. His beats and rattles were plucked from the local indie rock scene. But he's been playing jazz for 25 years. He always straddles the boundary between the two genres. 'The less we rely on reading the sheet music, the better we play,' he says. 'We can pay more attention to one another without the distraction of the written chart. Better focus and interaction allows us to stray from the traditional version of the song further than we normally could, allowing us to come up with something more unique, new and exciting.' Mark White, the bassist, is self-taught. He gives the group it's soul. Peters says White has a good ear. The Trio recently released a new album, Quiet Night, on iTunes. The title track is also the group's first video. Aside from the studio, the boys regularly play intimate venues around the city. And they still do the occasional wedding or corporate event. Fans can visit gpeters.com for information on where to find -- and how to book -- Geoff Peters Trio. -30-.