Annette Peacock

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Annette Peacock
Era Contemporary
Notable work Abstract-Contact, Sky-skating, I Have No Feelings, The Perfect Release, X-Dreams, I'm The One, I Belong To A World That's Destroying Itself, An Acrobat's Heart

Annette Peacock is an American composer, arranger, producer, musician, writer, singer.


Born in 1941 in Brooklyn, New York, Annette began composing at age four.[1] Her mother was a violist in the San Diego and Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestras.

At 19, Annette married jazz bassist Gary Peacock. At the beginning of the '60s she toured with Albert Ayler, studied Zen macrobiotics with Michio Kushi, and was a close associate of Timothy Leary at the psychedelic center in Millbrook.[1]

In 1964, pianist Paul Bley first began featuring her avant-garde compositions - ultimately on over 60 records. She and Bley were married in 1966.[2][3] At the end of the 1960s she and Bley became strongly associated with the musical possibilities of the newly-emergent synthesizer. Given a prototype by Robert Moog Annette is thought to have been the first to use one to process her voice.[1] As well as playing electric bass, electric piano and electric vibraphone - most notably at Town Hall, and live performances of the "Bley-Peacock Synthesizer Show" in 1969 at Philharmonic Hall, Lincoln Center (N.Y.) which they promoted with spots on late night TV and a guest appearance on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. Peacock produced the recordings of the show (with additional studio recordings) for an album release on Polydor, but Revenge: The Bigger the Love the Greater the Hate was not released until 1971. (She later reissued the album as I Belong to a World That's Destroying Itself on her own Ironic label.) Revenge was followed by two concert albums that were recorded in Europe, Dual Unity recorded in 1970 and produced by Peacock (Freedom Records, 1972), and Improvisie released on the French America label under Bley's name in 1971; on both albums they were accompanied for the most part only by percussionist Han Bennink.

In 1971 she recorded also her first solo album. I'm the One was released by RCA Victor the following year. The journalists of UK music magazine The Wire received the album as one of the top 100 records that "set fire to the world". After a hiatus of six years she released her next two albums X-Dreams and The Perfect Release on the British Aura label. While she played several instruments on her debut album, she only used her voice backed by unpretentiously playing British prog-rock musicicians like guitarists Chris Spedding, Mick Ronson, Brian Godding, keyboardist Peter Lemer and drummer Bill Bruford. She also collaborated with Bruford on his first solo project, 1977 Feels Good to Me, which became a prog-rock/jazz fusion classic.[4] (In the 1970s she also appeared as a "Hologram" in a show by Salvador Dalí.ref?)

She launched her own indie label Ironic Records in the UK with the single "Sky-skating", and issued four albums from 1981 to 1988 (see discography) distributed in Europe by Rough Trade.

Producer Manfred Eicher commissioned Annette Peacock in 1997 to compose a project for string quartet and herself on piano and voice. After 3 years of composing and arranging, and a recording silence of 12 years, An Acrobat's Heart was released in 2000 by ECM.[5] The commission was preceded by ECM's 1997 double CD Nothing Ever Was, Anyway: Music of Annette Peacock, a tribute to Annette's 1964–1969 catalog of compositions performed by pianist Marilyn Crispell with (ex-husband) Gary Peacock and Paul Motian .[5]

At the beginning of 2006, she started-up her own label again –now as Ironic US– with an unpromoted limited release of 31:31. In the same year the result of her collaboration with Coldcut, "Just for the Kick", was released on their album Sound Mirrors.

Her music has also been recorded by David Bowie, Brian Eno, Mick Ronson, Al Kooper, Pat Metheny, Busta Rhymes, J-Live, RZA, Ghostface Killah, Morcheeba.

In November 2015, Annette Peacock will do a rare performance at Le Guess Who? Festival as part of a four-day program presented by drone band Sunn O))).[6]

Selected discography[edit]


  • Bley-Peacock Synthesizer Show – Revenge: The Bigger the Love the Greater the Hate (Polydor, 1968; reissued on Ironic US, 2014)
  • Annette Peacock – I'm the One (RCA Victor, 1972; reissued on Ironic US, 2010)
  • Paul Bley – Improvisie (America, 1971)
  • Annette & Paul Bley – Dual Unity (Freedom, 1972)
  • X-Dreams (Aura UK, 1978)
  • The Perfect Release (Aura UK, 1979)
  • Sky-skating (Ironic, 1981)
  • Been in the Streets Too Long (Ironic, 1983)
  • I Have No Feelings (Ironic, 1986)
  • Abstract-Contact (Ironic, 1988)
  • An Acrobat's Heart (ECM, 2000)
  • 31:31 (Ironic US, 2006)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Collection (Aura UK, 1982)
  • My Mama Never Taught Me How to Cook" (Sanctuary, 2004)


  • "Don't Be Cruel" / "Dear Bela" (Aura, 1978)
  • "Love's Out to Lunch" / "Rubber Hunger" (Aura, 1979)
  • "Sky-skating" / "Taking It as It Comes" (ironicrecords, 1981)

Compositions appeared on[edit]

  • 1965: Paul Bley Trio - Touching ("Touching", "Both" & "Cartoon")
  • 1966: Paul Bley Trio - Closer ("Cartoon")
  • 1967: Paul Bley - Ramblin' ("Both", "Albert's Love Theme" & "Touching")
  • 1967: Paul Bley, Gary Peacock, Barry Altschul - Virtuosi ("Butterflies" & "Gary") These 2 titles are the entire album.
  • 1968: Paul Bley - Mr. Joy ("Kid Dynamite", "Nothing Ever Was, Anyway", "El Cordobes", "Touching", "Blood" & "Mr. Joy")
  • 1968: Paul Bley - Turning Point ("Mr. Joy" & "Kid Dynamite")
  • 1968: Karin Krog and Friends - Joy ("Mr. Joy")
  • 1970: Paul Bley & Gary Peacock - Paul Bley with Gary Peacock ("Gary" & "Albert's Love Theme") These 2 titles are the entire album.
  • 1971: Paul Bley - The Paul Bley Synthesizer Show ("Mr. Joy", "The Archangel", "Nothing Ever Was, Anyway", "Gary", "Snakes", "Parks" & "Circles") These 7 titles are the entire album.
  • 1971: Paul Bley - Ballads ("Ending", "Circles" & "So Hard It Hurts") These 3 titles are the entire album.
  • 1972: Paul Bley - Open, to Love ("Open, to Love" & "Nothing Ever Was, Anyway")
  • 1973: Al Kooper - Naked Songs ("Been and Gone")
  • 1973: Paul Bley & Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen - Paul Bley/NHØP ("Gesture Without Plot")
  • 1974: Mick Ronson - Slaughter on 10th Avenue ("I'm the One") & (7 Days)
  • 1974: Paul Bley & Jaco Pastorius - Jaco ("Blood")
  • 1975: Paul Bley – Alone, Again ("Dreams")
  • 1978: Bill Bruford - Feels Good to Me ("Adios A La Pasada (Goodbye to the Past)")
  • 1986: Paul Bley - Fragments ("Nothing Ever Was, Anyway")
  • 1992: Paul Bley, Franz Koglmann, Gary Peacock - Annette ("Touching" (2 takes), "El Cordobes", "Cartoon", "Albert's Love Theme", "Kid Dynamite", "Miracles", "Blood (2 takes), "Both", "Mister Joy")
  • 1996: Marilyn Crispell, Gary Peacock & Paul Motian -Nothing Ever Was, Anyway: Music of Annette Peacock ("Nothing Ever Was, Anyway", "Butterflies That I Feel Inside Me", "Open, to Love", "Cartoon", "Albert's Love Theme", "Dreams (If Time Weren't)", "Touching", "Both", "You've Left Me", "Miracles", "Ending" & "Blood") These 12 titles constitute the whole of a double album.


  1. ^ a b c Adler, David. "Annette Peacock: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  2. ^ "Annette Peacock Biography". Retrieved 2015-12-04. 
  3. ^ Francis Davis, Like Young: Jazz, Pop, Youth and Middle Age (Da Capo Press, 2002; ISBN 0306811863,), p. 110.
  4. ^ On tour Peacock was also the guest vocalist of Bruford's band, e.g. the Rock Goes to College concert in March 1979 at the Oxford Polytechnic, BBC broadcast on YouTube, min 22:40–37:00.
  5. ^ a b Williamson, Don (2000-11-01). "An Acrobat's Heart". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  6. ^ "Le Guess Who? Festival official site". Retrieved 17 June 2015. 

External links[edit]