|Denny Zeitlin — Acoustic Piano, Hardware and Virtual Synthesizers, Keyboards|
George Marsh — Drums, Percussion
TRACKS AND TIMINGS
1) Back On The Horse 6:55
2) Fermenting 6:30
3) Marching To a Different Drummer 6:25
4) Setting Sail 6:25
5) Vortex 2:30
6) Broken Nest 3:06
7) The Visit 2:34
8) Wheels & Tracks 8:22
9) Very Bari 4:36
10) Gears 5:07
11) Down The Rabbit Hole 10:27
12) Quest 12:37
"'Live electronics' are flourishing in jazz, and nobody is going for the full immersion there
deeper than pianist/keyboardist Denny Zeitlin...the sweeping, glowing washes of neon sound,
the synthesized instruments, the electric bumps and swirlings and rattles and cool drones. .. the
unbridled spontaneity of Zeitlin's improvisational sound creation alongside the inspired
drumming of George Marsh...[Zeitlin] is as virtuosic a musician as you'll find in this arena, and
his engagement with Marsh is superb...its perfection of in-the-moment interaction, the melodic
aspect of Marsh's drum work, the genius and beauty of Zeitlin's musicianship and the simpatico
of the exchange of a thousand ideas between the two musicians...there's energy, the vibrancy of
the "recorded live" aspect of the music, and inspired vision of two seasoned jazz pros caught in
the act of spontaneous creation, riding the moment."
"Riding The Moment is exactly what it sounds like. Zeitlin and Marsh literally made electro-
acoustic music with the technology at their disposal on the spot, taking jazz improvisation to a
whole other level. There wasn't a plan, or any rehearsals before the recording process, just the
two of them separated by a barrier, left to their own devices. As Zeitlin worked his board of 30
preset patches and a thousand sounds, he found a psychic link with Marsh, as they played in sync
and riffed off one another's movements as naturally and as fluidly as if they shared one
brain...reunited, and it never sounded so good."
Of all the jazz pianists of stature who have delved into a multi-key electric synthesized approach to the
art, Denny Zeitlin may well be the most creative and satisfying. His music loses nothing of its immediacy,
but it gains an almost orchestral dimension to it. He is a master improviser still, of course, but when
tackling an array of acoustic and non-acoustic instruments (piano and synths), he is also a master
You can hear all that very dramatically on his new album in tandem with his long-time drummer
associate George Marsh. Riding the Moment (Sunnyside 1408) gives us some profound new
compositions-improvisations for the duo, 12 in all...
[Both/And, 2013] marked Denny's return to the multi-instrument fray, with the inspiration of the
new synthesizers and their increased sonic color options. That was an impressive outing. Now
with Riding the Moment he reunites with George Marsh for a program that stands out as even
more masterfully done, with the immediacy of the very creative and musically astute Marsh to
add to the texture and drive of the music.
"Orchestrated" is the word. Without losing any of the essential excellence of the Zeitlin line and
harmonic inventiveness, we experience a fully varied set of aural possibilities that have all the
magic of the Zeitlin-Marsh chemistry but with a hugely imaginative way of creating vivid sound
It's a masterful, wildly interesting program and perhaps also an object-lesson on how to make use
of the new instruments to create an uncompromising music of beauty and drive, jazz in the A-1
You need to hear this. It is fascinating, explorative, exciting music here, Zeitlin and Marsh at
their very best!"
"... It is a veritable tapestry of melody, harmony and rhythm that makes for a complete transformation of musical foundations into a diaphanous, living, breathing and palpitating fabric of music, impossible not to react to... What a glorious partnership this is. Neither musician pushes the music around too much, playing with extraordinary restraint and respect for each other's ideas whether they be joyful, sorrowful or even sometimes dark and sinister. Colours are freely exchanged in a moving palette that each instrumental genius dips into and then with a flourish, swishes the proverbial brush onto the canvas that seems to assume a myriad of shapes and colours... The playing, however eccentric, is never experimental. Nothing is lost either in intensity, or clarity, or even focus..."
"In which we find the good doctor going back to his experimental post Miles roots with his old
fellow traveler from the period. Ensconcing themselves firmly in the present to carry out some
one take improvs, brother, all we can say is there are chops and there are chops. Playing with the
curiosity and experimental nature that could inspire the young 'uns feeling their oats, this is a
solid dose of what improv jazz etc is all about. They've been there, they've done that but they're
wearing new t-shirts. This is a wild ride that offers up nothing you are expecting but you don't
want to miss it as it pulls out of the station. Check it out."
"Pianist Denny Zeitlin has so far had a long and distinguished career and his catalog is consistent
and worth exploring in detail. This is not least because of his explorative nature. Zeitlin has a
deep musicality, but also a will to keep on searching for new sounds and expressions...The
focus [of Riding The Moment] is on the process of creation and not so much the finished result.
It is hard to imagine that any of these tracks could become standards, but that is not the point.
Instead, Zeitlin and Marsh go on a sound journey together with the volume turned up. They
enter, to paraphrase one of the titles of the album, the rabbit hole together and see what happens.
Many genres are explored without limitations. There are avant-garde moments, funky grooves
with synthetic horns, ambient washes of keyboard and lyrical sensitivity. Marsh drives the music
forward with his drums, but he also listens when Zeitlin pauses. They listen together, they speak
together through the music and it is not a silent conversation. Many things happen and one
musical wave catches another while Zeitlin and Marsh continue to ride the moment."
"From the time that Denny Zeitlin first began recording in 1963, the word conventional was
never part of his musical vocabulary...The latest iteration on this voyage of discovery is entitled
Riding The Moment, which blends technology and music, to deliver a listening experience that is
both demanding and exhilarating...Participating with Zeitlin in this adventure, is long-time
collaborator and co-composer, percussionist/drummer George Marsh...the task of finding the
appropriate words to describe or define the music, is a challenge as the standard phraseology
does not readily apply...words like angularity, convulsive potency, exploratory force, daring,
might well be appropriate..."
"Riding The Moment recalls the mid-seventies moments of pianist Denny Zeitlin, when his
ground-breaking early experiments of creatively incorporating the synthesizer into jazz led to trio
recordings that included George Marsh on drums. After almost forty years apart, long-time
notable pianist Zeitlin calls back his old partner to explore some old ideas in a 21st century
In contrast to those 70s explorations, there's no bass player this time - it's just a duet - but
Zeitlin has more than made up for the lack of a bassist, thanks to technology and the know-how
to leverage it. At the same time, he's never lost touch with his beginnings in post-bop nor
forsaken his formal studies of music theory and composition. As a result, Zeitlin's brand of free
jazz doesn't sacrifice melodicism in its pursuit of instantaneous composing, [and is] reinforced
by Marsh's highly sensitive and pliable drumming.
Denny Zeitlin has been a psychiatrist for almost as long as he's been a professional musician,
and he assuredly understands how intuition works from a clinical sense. Riding The Moment is a
demonstration of his understanding of intuition first hand, as a practitioner of jazz. There, too,
his knowledge on the topic is at the doctorate level."
"...These guys just play great music together. All the years of collaborating and creating music
really shows on this album...All the songs sound terrific and there is a good flow. You might
feel like dancing, singing, clapping or just relaxing while listening to this album. There is no
doubt that you will be doing something when you hear this CD. It is good that Zeitlin and
Marsh created an album like this. It is the real deal."
"Denny Zeitlin and George Marsh celebrate the telepathic power of music the hard way...Jazz
keyboardist Zeitlin and drummer Marsh go back so far together that they are fully comfortable creating 75
minutes of music on the spot without needing to give each other visual cues...Riding the Moment's
ability to impress is threefold. The music is entirely spontaneous, both men were on opposite sides of a
studio wall, and Zeitlin had to navigate banks upon banks of keyboard sounds on the fly. The fact that
Riding the Moment comes out sounding so self-assured and coherent is a nice touch. Of course, the music
itself is very good too...The music is "jazz", in a loose sense. Zeitlin's sounds can be hard bop one
moment, smooth fusion the next, and possibly wind up in a marriage of fusion and musique concrète in
no time at all (see "Vortex"). This diversity occurs without causing so much as a hiccup. Marsh isn't out
to provide the music with a defining beat so much as he's searching for ways to fill out the sound.
Through mallets, sticks, and the many angles of his kit, Marsh pulls a variety of sounds from the air
without being a road hog. Each cymbal rush is like a secondary color for Zeitlin's multi-faceted
rainbow...It goes without saying that Riding the Moment is an album unlike most, purely by structure.
It's also a fine way to get reacquainted with the telepathic power of music. If something this dense and
rich can arise from sessions with no preconceived plan, what else is in store for us out there?"
"What a strange and fascinating recording...playfulness of their interactions has the heart of a
roots-down garage band jam session, while all the electronics and effects suggests that their
garage is wedged onto a satellite hurtling somewhere far off in space..."