Both/And  
DENNY ZEITLIN: BOTH/AND
        Solo Electro-Acoustic Adventures
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Sunnyside Records
Catalog #: SSC 1352
Released 2013
Composed, Arranged, & Performed by Denny Zeitlin

Recording: Pat Gleeson Studio, Los Angeles, CA 2003-2004
                Double Helix Studio, Kentfield, CA 2011-2012

Credits:
Denny Zeitlin — Steinway Piano; Yamaha hardware synthesizers and keyboards; Multiple software synthesizers and sound altering devices

Video:
"Denny Zeitlin: Both/And"  


Track Listing

1. Meteorology 10:41
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2. Dawn 6:02
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3.Tiger, Tiger 7:11
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4. Kathryn's Song 7:59
       Soundclip: 
5. Dystopian Uprising 13:15
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6. Charango Dream 6:35
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7-11. Monk-y Business Revisited:
       Intro And Main Themes 5:27
          Soundclip: 
       Into The Funk 6:20
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       Waltzing To Memories 3:17
          Soundclip: 
       Piano Segue 2:31
          Soundclip: 
       Audio Kaleidoscope And Finale 4:59
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REVIEWS

 

"Denny’s approach has always been a masterful synthesis of technique and “brain freedom”—the suspension of pragmatism so that his spirit and hands can run the creative show...The album [Both/And] is a magnificent work that combines acoustic improvisation with densely layered electronica and sound sampling.

What you hear is a sophisticated frenzy of jazz forms and computerized expressions that simultaneously astonish and tickle. Denny has always been an action pianist, but here he's operating on a much larger scale and in multiple dimensions—combining acoustic and electronic jazz keyboards with synth-symphonic surprises to produce an original work that's both chapel and cathedral…

What’s extraordinary is that Denny is playing and creating all of the sounds himself. At times it sounds as if there are dozens of musicians playing… sound samples, software and instruments become electronic tubes of paint and the size and scope of what’s created is large, provocative and breathtaking. You have to hand it to Denny for continuing to let curiosity drive his explorations to the outer edges of the electronic jazz galaxy."
      Marc Myers, jazzwax.com

 

"In the latest chapter of a five-decade career distinguished by fertile collaborations, inventive compositions, transporting improvisations, and enviable keyboard prowess, Zeitlin has rekindled his passion for electronics, a winding journey that led to 2013's sumptuous Both/And (Sunnyside).

A Series of extended, often-episodic compositions, the album documents his "Solo Electro-Acoustic Adventures," from the tempestuous opening track, "Meteorology," and the tender "Kathryn's Song," to the playful and funk-laden closing suite, "Monk-y Business Revisited," which explores the full orchestral palette at Zeitlin's fingertips…By any measure, Zeitlin's output over the past 50 years places him at Jazz's creative zenith."
      Andrew Gilbert, JazzTimes

 

"… his album Both/And: Solo Electro-Acoustic Adventures is truly ambitious—not only does it sound nothing like his last album, but it sounds like no other album entirely… All of Zeitlin’s compositions zig-zag through sophisticated detours, never settling for what you expected. Bizarre, fascinating, and totally worth it."
      John Garratt, popmatters.com

 

"5 Stars [highest rating] Denny Zeitlin turns the solo piano world on its head with the most ambitious work of his storied career. A stellar performance and unique hybrid that others have attempted but with nowhere near the harmonic wonders that Zeitlin creates here…

Both/And is an incredibly inventive approach combining both acoustic and electronic instrumentation in a setting that celebrates Zeitlin's prolific talent not only in jazz but in the world of the classical as well as a smoldering funk bass and the more open ended avant-garde…

To a certain extent this is a release documenting Zeitlin as a cultural byproduct of his own experiences over the last thirty years. The only live recorded instrument is a Steinway grand piano while the layers of texture that weave their way in a synergistic ebb and flow are from the digital realm of keyboards, sampled instruments and unique sound sources processed digitally but remaining oddly organic with an almost three dimensional sonic depth of field. While one might expect a release of this nature to be somewhat "one note" we find Zeitlin going far deeper than what other artists have attempted with an electro-acoustic format. Easily one of the best releases for 2013."
      Brent Black, criticaljazz.com

 

"'Meteorology,' a nod to the fusion group Weather Report, announces Zeitlin's artistic gear shift… a marvelous minor symphony adeptly done… If the opener is a minor symphony, the thirteen minute "Dystopian Uprising" is a moody symphony. A masterpiece that evokes the unsettled mood of a world gone terribly wrong… a complex piece of music all the more beautiful for its mostly-restrained-but-vivid exploration of a darkening existence… If "Dystopian Uprising" is a moody symphony, the five part, twenty-three minute "Monk-y Business Revisited" is a major one…Electronics have been creeping into the world of jazz music bit-by-bit. Denny Zeitlin embraces the format and marries it to the acoustic side with a rare finesse.

Both/And is an extraordinary work of art… Denny Zeitlin is an orchestra, one that uses an acoustic/electronic blend with a master's touch, to transcend even the "timbral limitations" of the orchestral format, creating his finest and most compelling work."
      Dan McClenaghan, allaboutjazz.com

 

"As an artist, Denny Zeitlin can be counted upon to amaze with the virtuosity of his pianism, the ingenious nature of his musical intellect and this enables him to play music of great beauty.

But there is something else that Mr. Zeitlin is capable of and does: he leaps off the proverbial ledge into the wondrous musical abyss. He does this because as an artist he likes to risk his life for every note. This is clear from his album, Both/And: Electro-Acoustic Adventures… the music seems to have come from a spiritual source deep inside the soul of Mr. Zeitlin… All praise of course to Denny Zeitlin, who imagined it all, then transposed it to the myriad keyboards he seems to have mastered on this memorable record."
      Raul da Gama, jazzagama.com

 

"Dr. Denny Zeitlin has made a career of creating a catalogue of some of the most imaginatively lyrical and sublime acoustic solo and trio sessions…This time around, the good doctor changes the prescription and treatment, mixing his signature sound with electronics that provide bass lines, percussion and a wide range of experimental sounds… A fascinating experiment that succeeds thoroughly well on various fronts."
      George Harris, jazzweekly.com

 

"…as one might expect of a musician who has always demonstrated a high degree of accessible creativity, Zeitlin’s project is both a digital and analog, electronic and acoustic, success… it’s all from the mind and heart of Denny Zeitlin in a merging of real time and imagined collaboration, of sounds in the moment and sounds in the digital lab… a symphony for the 21st century bridging modern classical and jazz elements. Only a DVD or live performance would remind us that it is the work of one artist… playful and adventurous, a revelation of how modern technology can be harnessed and unleashed, artfully, by one multi-tasking puppeteer who brings together two worlds of sound in a cohesive musical embrace."
      Andrea Canter, jazzpolice.com

 

"One-man bands have come a long way since 1941, when Sidney Bechet recorded 'The Sheik of Araby'… but one thing has not changed since Bechet’s painstaking feat—the need for virtuosity by the performer and the recording engineer. For the first six tracks in Both/And, Zeitlin fills both roles. He records on acoustic and electric pianos and creates synthesizer sounds that are uncannily like those of brass, reed, string and rhythm instruments and a choir. In the five sections of the kaleidoscopic “Monk-y Business Revisited,” he shares producing and recording credit with electronic music pioneer Patrick Gleeson…

In Both/And, Zeitlin returns to the electronic arena with a collection so finely crafted that his means of producing it are considerations secondary to the success of the music as music… What Zeitlin achieves in integrating the elements could have come only through meticulous labor in the studio, but in “Meteorology” and throughout the CD the music imparts the impression of spontaneity… This is a substantial album, fascinating for its musicianship, variety, good humor and the multifaceted talents of Denny Zeitlin."
      Doug Ramsey, rifftides.com

 

"The set features Zeitlin working alone, but on a mix of electric and acoustic keyboards – really stretching out and exploring a rich range of new sounds, but all with that sense of lyricism, mood, and timing that makes his straighter jazz material so great!...Make no mistake—there's still plenty of jazz in the mix here, and the spirit of Zeitlin's other recent work greatly informs the set..."
      DustyGroove.com

 

"What is most striking about this disk is…the improvisational imagination, the inventive orchestrational musical mind of Denny Zeitlin. That is what makes this music have a certain consistent excellence, his ultra-creative, generative knack.

It is everywhere to be heard on these tracks. What perhaps is most remarkable is how the live creating, harmonically expansive, rhythmically alive Zeitlin comes through intact, rather brilliantly so. We do not need to chose between acoustic and electric because Zeitlin builds on top of both aspects of his playing and of the music at large. Impressive and delightful!"
      Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegatemusicreview.blogspot.com