Eastlawn ELD #039
Recorded live at Yoshi's, Oakland, CA 1994
Homecomings are a time of celebration and reflection, and the July 5, 1994 Bay Area return of multi-instrumentalist Peck Allmond provided a good bit of both.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Peck is an alumni of the renowned Berkeley High School Jazz program directed by Phil Hardymon which includes luminaries such as Craig Handy, Peter Apfelbaum, Benny Green and Joshua Redman. His apprenticeship was served under the tutelage and mentorship of many of the premier jazz musicians residing in the Bay Area: Donald Bailey, Mark Levine and Eddie Marshall were a few who provided immeasurable on the gig training.
Continued studies with other notable masters helped Peck develop into a musician who can shift from a hot swinging blues to a cozy ballad - on tenor saxophone and equally on trumpet.
He lists his primary instruments as trumpet, saxophone and flute and he's also in demand for valve trombone, clarinet and bass clarinet. In 1993, a year prior to this concert, Peck made the move to Brooklyn, New York and with his multiple skills established himself as a band leader, composer and highly sought-after sideman.
Making his return to the Bay Area for this 1994 summer gig at Yoshi's Nightspot in Oakland, Peck was accompanied by a few of his friends and mentors including bassist John Wiitala, drummer Bud Spangler and pianist Ed Kelly. The trio formed a rhythm section that felt like they shared plenty of time together, and although Wiitala and Spangler had teamed up to form a robust foundation in the Jessica Williams Trio a few years before, this performance marked their first and possibly only time with Kelly on piano.
Bud Spangler, an extremely spirited drummer, made his mark first in Detroit, Michigan as a radio personality and also as a music producer and musician for such labels as Strata Records and Tribe Records. After moving to the Bay Area Bud continued his radio career at KJAZ and later KCSM radio as an on air dj, and served as producer and engineer of the weekly show See's Sunday Nights (later, Sunday Night Sweets) which spotlighted live performances from various performance spots around the Bay Area. He would also further his producing career on several notable and Grammy-nominated recordings featuring Shirley Horn, Denise Perrier, Mimi Fox, Ed Reed, Mary Stallings, Kitty Margolis and Cedar Walton amongst the many, and he would also co-lead the popular Tom Peron/ Bud Spangler Quartet.
Heralded musician and educator Ed Kelly was a highly respected staple of the Bay Area music scene for years. An amazing and all-encompassing pianist/ organist who would seamlessly flow from Blues, Gospel and spirituals to Bop, Swing and the many branches of the "Jazz" tree. With a career that included recording and/or performing with Pharoah Sanders, Bobby Hutcherson, John Handy and others, he could have easily achieved wider acclaim if he'd followed the path of the many who'd moved to New York. Instead, Mr. Kelly opted to stay in Oakland to educate and nurture the many musicians who'd come up after him.
As with every live performance, audience feedback does play a part in the experience and on this July night the audience sounds excited by and appreciative of each moment of music while celebrating the homecoming appearance of Peck Allmond.
-Greg Bridges, KCSM