Annette Peacock

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Annette Peacock
Annette Peacock *.jpg
Background information
Birth nameAnnette Dianne Coleman[1]
Born1941 (age 78–79)
GenresFree jazz, avant-garde jazz, electronic, art rock
Occupation(s)Composer, singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, musician
InstrumentsVocals, synthesizer, keyboards, fender bass, electric vibraphone, percussion
Years active1960s–present
Labelsironic US, ECM, RCA
Associated actsPaul Bley, Bill Bruford, Coldcut

Annette Peacock (Born 1941)[2] is an American composer, singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, and musician. She is a pioneer in electronic music who combined her voice with one of the first Moog synthesizers in the late 1960s.


Annette Peacock was born Annette Dianne Coleman[1] and was writing music by the time she was four years old. She is self-taught except for her time as a student at The Juilliard School in the early 1970s.[3] She grew up in California.[4] Her mother was a violist in the San Diego and Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestras who studied at the Curtis Institute of Music.

She moved to New York to marry jazz bassist Gary Peacock in 1960.[4]

During the early 1960s, she was an associate and guest of Timothy Leary[3] and Richard Alpert Ram Dass at their mansion and psychedelic center in Millbrook, New York. And afterwards, she was among the first ten students to study macrobiotics with Michio Kushi.

Peacock toured Europe with avant-garde jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler.[3][4] while she was married to bassist Gary Peacock, then pianist Paul Bley.[5][6] 1964, she began to compose for Bley and invented a style she called "free-form song". Her compositions appeared on his album Ballads and influenced the style of ECM Records.[4] She was a pioneer in synthesizing electronic vocals after having been given an early model of the Moog synthesizer by its inventor, Robert Moog.[3]

She performed with the Bley-Peacock Synthesizer Show at New York's Town Hall in November 1969 and the next month promoted a concert at Philharmonic Hall with late night advertisements and an appearance on The Johnny Carson Show. [7] The show ran from 1969–1971 with various sidemen including Gary Peacock, Barry Altschul, and Han Bennink and they released three albums, beginning with Revenge: The Bigger The Love The Greater The Hate, which was her de facto debut solo album as it was entirely composed, arranged and produced by her. It was followed by the live albums Improvisie (America) and Dual Unity (Freedom).

Her official debut solo album, I'm the One (RCA Victor), was released in 1972.[8]

In 1974, she moved to London.[4] After a hiatus of six years, she released two rock albums, X-Dreams and The Perfect Release on Aura in the U.K. and Tomato in the U.S. While she played several instruments on her debut album, here she only used her voice, backed by British progressive rock musicians Chris Spedding, Mick Ronson, Brian Godding, Bill Bruford, and Peter Lemer.

She started her own label, Ironic Records, from the UK, distributed in Europe by Rough Trade. The first release on her label was the single "Sky-skating" (1981), followed by the albums Sky-skating (1982), Been in the Streets Too Long (1983), I Have No Feelings (1986), and Abstract-Contact (1988).

During the 1970s and '80s, she worked with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Roger Turner, Allan Holdsworth, Evan Parker, Brian Eno, Bill Bruford and Mick Ronson before moving back to the U.S.[4]

In 1997, ECM Records released Nothing Ever Was, Anyway: Music of Annette Peacock, a double-album tribute to her compositions from 1964–1969 with Marilyn Crispell, Paul Motian, and Gary Peacock. During the same year, Manfred Eicher, head of ECM, commissioned her to compose for string quartet, piano, and voice. The album, An Acrobat's Heart (ECM, 2000), took three years to compose and arrange. It broke her twelve-year hiatus from recording.[9]

In 2006, she restarted her label, renamed 'ironic US', and released 31:31, a signed, numbered, limited edition. During the same year, she collaborated with Coldcut on the song "Just for the Kick" for their album Sound Mirrors. After not having played in NY since a benefit at the Danceteria 1981, she gave a performance at The Whitney Museum of American Art which garnered two favorable reviews in the New York Times.

She gave a rare performance at Le Guess Who? Festival in November 2015 as part of a four-day program presented by drone band Sunn O))). Peacock's music has been recorded by David Bowie, Brian Eno, Mick Ronson, Al Kooper, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Bill Frisell, Chris Spedding, Bill Bruford, Mary Halvorson, Nels Cline, RZA, Busta Rhymes, J-Live, Ghostface Killah, and Morcheeba.

Critical reception[edit]

"Annette Peacock is a stone cold original – an innovator, an outlier, authentically sui generis," said John Doran of The Quietus.[10]

The U.K. magazine The Wire named her solo album one of the top 100 records that "set fire to the world", and she appeared on the cover of The Wire for the December 2015 issue.


As leader[edit]

  • 1972 I'm the One (RCA Victor) (reissued in 2010 on ironic US)
  • 1978 X-Dreams (Aura Records)
  • 1979 The Perfect Release (Aura)
  • 1982 Sky Skating (ironic)
  • 1983 Been in the Streets Too Long (ironic)
  • 1986 I Have No Feelings (ironic)
  • 1988 Abstract-Contact (ironic)
  • 2000 An Acrobat's Heart (ECM)
  • 2005 31:31 (ironic US)
  • 2014 I Belong to a World That's Destroying Itself [aka Revenge] (ironic US)[11]


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

As co-leader or sidewoman[edit]

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 (all compositions: "Butterflies" & "Gary")
  • 1968: Paul Bley - Mr. Joy (all compositions: "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 (all compositions: "Gary" & "Albert's Love Theme")
  • 1971: Paul Bley - The Paul Bley Synthesizer Show (all compositions:"Mr. Joy", "The Archangel", "Nothing Ever Was, Anyway", "Gary", "Snakes", "Parks" & "Circles")
  • 1971: Paul Bley - Ballads (all compositions:"Ending", "Circles" & "So Hard It Hurts")
  • 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 ("Back to the Beginning", "Seems Like a Lifetime Ago (Part One)", "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" (all compositions: "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")
  • 2006: Coldcut - "Just For The Kick" ft. Annette Peacock
  • 2016: Nels Cline - Lovers medley of ("So Hard It Hurts/Touching") arranged by Michael Leonhart


  1. ^ a b "Annette Peacock Discography". Discogs. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d Adler, David R. "Annette Peacock". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Adams, Simon (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 3 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 252. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
  5. ^ arwulf, arwulf. "Paul Bley". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  6. ^ Morton, Brian (8 January 2016). "Paul Bley: Pianist who played with Charlie Parker, Sony Rollins and Ornette Coleman". The Independent. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  7. ^ Holmes, Thom (16 October 2016). "On the Road: Early "Live" Moog Modular Artists". The Bob Moog Foundation. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  8. ^ Fordham, John (14 July 2011). "Annette Peacock: I'm The One". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Annette Peacock: An Acrobat's Heart". All About Jazz. 1 November 2000. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  10. ^ "She's The One: Annette Peacock Interviewed". The Quietus. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  11. ^ "Annette Peacock | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Annette Peacock | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 October 2017.

External links[edit]