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Denny Zeitlin Trio - In Concert 

Sunnyside Records
Catalog #: SSC 1206
Released 2009
Produced and Arranged by Denny Zeitlin

Recording: Tracks 3, 4, 6, 8, 9: Outpost Performance Space, December 2004
                Tracks 1, 2, 7: Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, November 2006
                Track 5: Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, November 2001



Track Listing:

1-2. Mr. P.C. (Coltrane) (12:45)
   1. Part 1 (5:55)
   Soundclip "A section of the opening piano solo, showing how this trio burns at up tempos."
2. Part 2 (6:50) 
   Soundclip "The piano ushers in the new tempo of part 2, and bass & drums join in for
   several choruses of minor blues."

3-4. The Night Has 1000 Eyes/10,000 Eyes (Zeitlin, Bernier, Brainin) (19:31)
   3. Part 1 (11:36)
   Soundclip "This clip fades in towards the end of a lengthy introductory vamp, to give a taste of
   the main theme." 

   4. Part 2 (7:55)
   Soundclip The final statement of the main theme, followed by a ride-out." 

5. The We of Us (Zeitlin) (7:01)
    Soundclip "The opening statement of the theme of this ballad I wrote for my wife as a
    Anniversary gift some years ago."

6. All of You (Porter) (11:26) 
    Soundclip"Trading 8's with Matt, to the final thematic statement."

7. Prime Times (Zeitlin) (9:53) 
    Soundclip "The introduction & initial statement of this original composition alternating
    bars of 7/4 and 5/4 time ."

8. Bass Prelude (Williams) (4:34)
    Soundclip "The opening section of Buster's improvised prelude to Signs & Wonders."

9. Signs & Wonders (Friesen) (6:47)
    Soundclip "Here's a taste of the theme & initial solo in this bluesy shuffle composition by
    David Friesen.."


“None of the trios in Dr. Zeitlin's long history of recording are more stunning than the current one with bassist Williams and Matt Wilson, an explosive drummer heavily in demand in jazz. Their "In Concert" CD (Sunnyside Records) catches Dr. Zeitlin, at age 70, in his musical prime and his trio afire.”
Doug Ramsey, Wall Street Journal, March 12, 2009

“From a bustling race through Mr. P.C. to an extended examination of The Night Has 1000 Eyes, the pianist’s latest disc is all about dynamic breadth. It’s a reminder that he’s adept at selling both the fabulous flourish and the probing audit. Of course, it helps when your backup team is gifted at nuance. Bassist Buster Williams and drummer Matt Wilson follow Zeitlin down every rabbit hole and up every flag pole.”
Jim Macnie, Village Voice, March 6, 2009

“In a felicitous coincidence, the Mosaic set [of Columbia sessions from the sixties] was issued at the same time as Zeitlin’s In Concert (Sunnyside), an ideal complement because it shows he never stopped growing while underscoring the fact that he had his stylistic ducks in a row as early as 1964…Zeitlin, born in 1938, sounds like no one else in his generation. He seems constitutionally incapable of playing an expected harmony; the pleasure in listening to him, especially when he dissects (le mot juste) standards, is bound up with his lightning aversions of the commonplace… Zeitlin’s signature technique is a two-handed, chromatically omnivorous attack that washes across the keyboard, alternated with dancing single-note figures that have, no matter the speed, the articulation of discrete bells. He works with the best bassists and drummers, including Cecil McBee and Freddie Waits, Charlie Haden and Jerry Granelli, and on the new album, Buster Williams and Matt Wilson—they shoot the moon on a supersonic “Mr. P.C.”
Gary Giddins, “Lost in Transition”, JazzTimes Magazine, May, 2009

"...There can be no doubt that this trio—Denny Zeitlin on piano, with Buster Williams on bass and Matt Wilson on drums—has everything it takes to leave its mark in the rarified earth of creativity. In Concert leaves a lasting impression of being the release that will create a new definition for the art of the trio on many levels.”
Raul d’Gama Rose,, Feb. 24, 2009

“Denny Zeitlin at 70 is still one of the great jazz piano originals, as his recent live Sunnyside disc “In Concert” so abundantly proved.”
Buffalo News, March 1, 2009

“[Hot Box Review] An absolutely ferocious, whirlwind of a pianist, Zeitlin careens into rhythmically and formally free (but rarely dissonant) territory here, while also swimming through that warm sea of sounds we associate with Bill Evans. His empathetic trio finds many luminous moments…and the rhythm section boosts the quality of every rumination.”
Down Beat Magazine, May 2009

“…The new, in-concert CD, like the Mosaic package, has been released in celebration of Zeitlin’s 70th birthday. And what it reveals is the inexorable continuity of his music. Here, too, there is a pair of extended works—“Mr. P.C.” (based on the John Coltrane line), “The Night Has 1000 Eyes/10,000 Eyes” (positioning the old standard against a Zeitlin original), as well as a similarly episodic juxtaposition of Zeitlin’s “The We Of Us” with Cole Porter’s “All of You.” And, once again, Zeitlin’s improvisations find the sensitivity in virtuosity, the playfulness in emotional intensity, the swing in spontaneity—the product of a career arc spanning more than four decades of brilliant, still too little recognized, musical creativity.”
Don Heckman, The International Review of Music, April 28, 2009

“This live album was recorded over a five-year period between 2001 and 2006 at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles and the Outpost in Albuquerque. Denny Zeitlin and his trio stretch way out, let tunes flow according to the dictates of particularly evenings in California and New Mexico, and give everyone space to blow. In Concert is extravagant and spontaneous as only live recordings can be, but never feels loose or rough. Zeitlin is an instinctively orderly artist. “Mr. P.C.”…is a 13-minute workout with symmetry and balance. “The Night Has 1000 Eyes” is a 20 minute epic with a sequel appended by Zeitlin called “The Night has 10,000 Eyes.” The whole has myriad subplots and corollaries and inspired individual and collective improvisation, all tied together by strategic vamps. Zeitlin has been making piano trio records for 45 years. This trio with Buster Williams and Matt Wilson may be his strongest, tightest ever.”
Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes Magazine May, 2009

“…And why is Denny Zeitlin important? There is the obvious matter of his formidable technical command of the instrument. His touch, his dynamics, his clarity of execution are exemplary. But even more to the point, Zeitlin came to grips with virtually all of the pressing issues facing the jazz keyboardists of his generation. These were matters that most of his contemporaries addressed partially or with varying degrees of success, or (in some instances) tried to ignore. But Zeitlin’s penetrating intellect and vision allowed him to find solutions where others merely encountered problems. In each of these instances, Zeitlin faced the issue head-on, and came up with a robust solution. And, just as important, did so in an integrated, holistic way. Everything he plays has his own personal stamp on it. Nothing comes across as tenuous or forced or merely experimental… The release of the Mosaic reissue, and a fine new trio CD on Sunnyside, give us a good opportunity to reexamine this artist, and savor anew his contributions to the art form.”
Ted Gioia,, March 30, 2009

“Pianist/psychiatrist Denny Zeitlin has managed to balance two seemingly disparate careers for four decades. His large catalog of music is both inventive and enduring… Zeitlin has always had a particular affinity for the trio of piano, bass and drums, which he describes as creating “an equilateral triangle of great flexibility, mutuality and stability.” These characteristics define his latest Sunnyside release, In Concert…The Zeitlin/Williams/Wilson trio proved to be a magical ensemble, releasing the praised Slickrock on MaxJazz in 2004. The live In Concert is a worthy successor… and it is more than a working unit, more akin to a small dance company where each artist contributes to the total choreography, where mutual trust and respect allows each “dancer” the freedom to experiment knowing his partners will move in sync. For Zeitlin, the most extensive experiments address time and harmony, as if the basic philosophies of Monk and Brubeck have been filtered through the lyricism of Evans and Jarrett… Anyone already familiar with the current Denny Zeitlin Trio will be enthralled by the mature artistry and telepathic collaboration of [his early Columbia sessions on Mosaic Select] and how they build the foundation for Zeitlin’s four+ decade quest “to be able to continue to evolve towards a personal music that looks to the future without being unmindful of the past; to find ways of making the elements of the vast musical universe compatible in my playing without becoming limited to any one stylistic ‘bag’; and to communicate this music as honestly and effectively as I can to the interested listener.” It’s a quest that has taken Zeitlin and his various trios on a more or less straight trajectory skyward, from 1964’s Cathexis to 2009’s In Concert.”
Andrea Canter,, March 12, 2009

“In Concert brings us back to the future, some 40-plus years after the first Columbia session, to find Zeitlin mixing it up live with Buster Williams (bass) and Matt Wilson (drums). Zeitlin's unique musical personality is recognizably intact—a penchant for odd time signatures, unique harmonies, intricate compositions, open blowing and dynamic group exchanges—but these elements have now become more ingrained, more intuitive. On Cole Porter's "All of You," both on the CD and during the recent gig at Dizzy's, the trio was supremely simpatico, playing freely with the pulse and structure of the tune, bouncing ideas back and forth. The CD closes with the hard swinging "Signs and Wonders," while the Dizzy's set closed with "Slick Rock," a powerful summation—for the moment—of Zeitlin's amazing career(s).”
Tom Greenland, April 4, 2009

“Zeitlin’s qualities are still apparent in his new recording, In Concert (Sunnyside SSC 1206) with the rhythm section of Buster Williams and Matt Wilson. Zeitlin’s playing may be rounder now, but there’s still plenty of the same energy. He’s forged the kind of three-way dialogue with Williams and Wilson that’s the mark of his early dates and he has the same fluid movement between taut structure and sudden release… It’s a fine session by a musician who can comfortably explore an expressive and formal range that he first outlined 45 years ago.”
Stuart Broomer,, April 7, 2009

“A new Mosaic Select box featuring Zeitlin’s Columbia sessions from the ’60s shows how dynamic his conception was from the very start; In Concert, a Sunnyside release taped live with his current trio of bassist Buster Williams and drummer Matt Wilson shows that Zeitlin’s only grown more confident and distinctive.”
Time Out New York, March, 2009

“This sound of confluence among three players devoted to making music of the highest order is documented on "Denny Zeitlin Trio In Concert," … the music resonates with creativity informed by a love and knowledge of the jazz tradition in all its permutations, integrated with the worlds of funk and modern classical music. Zeitlin's virtuosity, tempered by good taste, serves him admirably in his interpretations of compositions by Coltrane and Cole Porter, as well as in the trio's explorations of his own original compositions.”, March 2009

“You can’t go wrong with Zeitlin at the wheel. Add Matt Wilson to the mix and something pretty exciting is going to happen. And it does. A jazzbo without limitation that has played with everyone that has mattered over the last 50 years, Zeitlin steps up with a hard charging set that covers a lot of ground from standards to Coltrane to his own stuff, all of it delivered like a consummate pro that didn’t develop pianist hump for nothing---even if he maintained a “day job” for a big chuck of the last few decades. Classic work by a classy cat that knows how to dig the music within the music. You won’t be disappointed if you have any interest in piano jazz trios.”
Midwest Record, March, 2009

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