“While I love playing with other musicians, there is something wonderfully limitless and challenging about being on-stage or in the studio by myself. In many ways, this is the most intensely personal musical statement. I hope to be open to the moment, drawing on the worlds of jazz, classical, rock, funk, and avant garde, and allowing the music to go where it wants. When the listener shares this openness, we enter a merger state where magic can really happen.”
Denny Zeitlin

Denny Zeitlin: Precipice - The Challenge of Solo Piano
        Denny discusses his new CD and the challenges of solo piano performance

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Watch Denny playing Solo Piano, Live at Berlin Jazz Festival, 1983 (6 Videos)

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Free/What is This Thing Called Love

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Time Remembers One Time Once [Zeitlin]

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Country Fair [Zeitlin]

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Quiet Now [Zeitlin]

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Cascade [Zeitlin]

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Aura [Zeitlin]

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Solo Performance Reviews:

“Zeitlin’s range, in fact, was so broad that his playing is difficult to describe without making it appear to be a grab bag of styles. More accurately, he is an improvisational artist whose skills are so expansive that he can integrate everything he hears into the fabric of his soloing. In the best sense, in the manner that has always been true of jazz’s finest improvisers, Zeitlin constantly stretches the creative envelope, measuring himself only against the infinite demands of his music.” - DON HECKMAN, LOS ANGELES TIMES

“…Zeitlin delivered a riveting solo performance.” - GEORGE GOODMAN, NEW YORK TIMES

“In supreme command of the keyboard…he employs striking dissonances, he constructs extraordinary edifices of harmonics, he can be marvelously pianistic, with a velvet subtlety of touch. He is an original...Denny Zeitlin stretches jazz piano beyond any hitherto defined limits.” - SAN DIEGO UNION

“…He didn’t show his brilliance through his technique (which he has), but through subtle improvisation, advanced and finely-tuned harmonic development, and a stupendous internal sense of meter…Denny Zeitlin’s solo piano was the unpretentious highpoint of the festival.” - MUNCHNER MERKUR (Munich)

“With wonderful vast expansiveness Denny Zeitlin showed his brilliance.” - NEUE RUHR ZEITUNG (Essen)

“…Daring melodic twists are compactly intertwined with a free harmonic tonality. The crystal clear intellectuality gives the forceful rhythmic passages a winning quality, which is simultaneously cool and hot, iridescent, and fragilely transparent.” - KOLNISCHE RUNDSCHAU (Koln)

“Denny Zeitlin is a practicing psychiatrist; perhaps that’s why he seemed unintimidated by the Carngegie Recital Hall. He turned in a varied set—quiet, evocative ballads and intense standards and originals, with spines of solid bass-walking.” - CASH BOX

“And finally, Denny Zeitlin, with a well-rounded and convincing piano appearance.” - SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG (Munich)

“Denny Zeitlin delivered whatever was promised. The forceful left hand of the pianist did not allow any sentimentality at all. One could catch glimpses of the Chicago City Blues tradition skillfully accenting his improvisations. He had no need for heavy modern dense clusters. One of the few unpretentious, beautiful appearances of the Jazz Festival.” - DIE WAHRHEIT (Berlin)

The Herald: Solo Piano Improvisation (Soundsheet and Transcription), from Keyboard Magazine, October, 1984 MP3 File - Transcription



1) Deluge  6:58
    Soundclip:  One of my all-time favorite Wayne Shorter compositions

2) Love Theme From "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers"  6:53
    Soundclip:  The haunting love theme for the last two humans on earth

3) Precipice  8:40
    Soundclip:  The title tune of the concert, on the edge from the start

1) Solo Voyage: Lament: This great ballad by J.J.Johnson is one of the selections from the 8 part suite. Acoustic piano with synth orchestration.

2) Cascade: The first part of this multisection original composition. Acoustic piano.

3) Solo Voyage: Moving Parts, part 1: Acoustic piano supports the synth lead “wind” instrument.

Watch a Video about the Making of Solo Voyage

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1) Gulf Stream: A free improvisation that moves in a more lyrical, tonal direction.Listen

2) Vulcan's Dolls: The concluding part of this free improvisation, spewing fire and shards of energy as it drives to a sudden climax.Listen

3) Things Inside: As the title indicates, much of this improvisation utilizes the percussive potential of the inside of the piano.” Listen


1) First Light: A languid, gentle original that begins the album.

2) Homecoming: An energized original celebrating Americana.

3) Mayfly: A lyrical, quite classical, free improvisation inspired by the life cycle of the mayfly—the most famous insect imitated by fly fishers.

Live at Maybeck


1) End of a Love Affair: I’ve loved this standard ever since I heard Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers do it on a recording back in the fifties. Listen

2) Lazy Bird: Here’s a clip of Coltrane’s tune taken at a very fast pace. Listen

3) My Man’s Gone Now: My treatment of this piece attempts to evoke some of the feel of the Porgy and Bess orchestra, in a very free-form style. Listen