Desert Island Jazz
Peter Zak (2012)

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Growing up first in Ohio and later in Oakland, California, Peter Zak studied classical piano, turning to jazz as a late teenager.

By the time he graduated in History from UC Berkeley, Peter had already been playing with John Handy and Frank Morgan. He's been in New York City for over two decades now, and has played or recorded with the likes of Junior Cook, Jimmy Cobb, Billy Hart, Ryan Kisor, Al Foster, Eric Alexander, Walt Weiskopf (a lot of recordings), and vocalists Jon Hendricks and Curtis Stigers. He is on the faculty of the New School.

Since 2005, Peter has released a series of excellent recordings for the Danish label SteepleChase ("Seed of Sin" received four stars from Mitch Meyers in "Down Beat" in 2009). Also in 2005, he received a $10,000 grant from the Doris Duke Foundation and Chamber Music America to compose and perform new works for his jazz trio with Paul Gill and Al Foster.

The "New York Times" refers to "a bouquet of self-assured solo piano performances." Peter has also been called "highly focused", "thoughtful", "poised", and "a savvy bandleader".
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 McCoy Tyner The Real McCoy Passion Dance Blue Note
# 2 Bud Powell Jazz Giant Tempus Fugit Verve
# 3 Herbie Hancock Thrust Actual Proof Columbia
# 4 Maurice Ravel Arturo Benedetti: Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 12 & No. 4/Debussy, Hommage à Rameau/Ravel, Gaspard de la Nuit Ondine from "Gaspard de la Nuit" BBC
# 5 Dexter Gordon Go Three O'Clock in the Morning Blue Note
# 6 Donny Hathaway Everything Is Everything Everything Is Everything Atlantic
# 7 Thelonious Monk Standards I Love You Sweetheart of All My Dreams Columbia
# 8 Peter Zak Down East Sector 7 SteepleChase
         
Book Robert A. Caro, "The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York"
         
Luxury Item "My Sony PlayStation 3 ... TV, and an Internet connection"
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