Born: May Primary Instrument: Piano
P E T E R Z A K
It’s difficult to believe that Peter Zak was once “uncomfortable with executing melodies,” as he said a few years ago in a DownBeat profile. When it comes to melody, few jazz pianists of his generation—he’s now 48—can equal his depth or command. Working mostly in a trio, which in some hands can be a confining format, he finds continually fresh ways to voice tunes and engage with his fellow players.
That he does, in characteristically distinguished fashion, on his latest album, The Eternal Triangle, which re-teams him with Peter Washington and Billy Drummond—the exciting bass and drum combination featured on his 2012 recording, Nordic Noon. ...
Awards:$10,000 composition grant from Doris Duke Foundation, 2005.
(Down East) Classy set by Peter Zak, accompanied by the stellar rhythm tandem...together they strike a swinging accord... Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes
(Down East) The kind of trio date many aspire to but few reach so effortlessly, Zak and his pals are on the money throughout. A must hear/have date for all straight ahead piano jazz fans. - Chris Spector, Midwest Record
(The Decider) This is another rewarding release by Peter Zak, a talent deserving of wider recognition. 4 1/2 stars. - Ken Dryden, All Music Guide
(Seed Of Sin)...Zak is a focused, original player with fine taste and great chops...4 stars. - Mitch Myers, DownBeat Magazine
(My Conception)...a bouquet of self-assured solo piano performances - Nate Chinen, New York Times
(My Conception) The solo record is the best place to sample Zak's lyrical, harmonically rich approach. - Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings