Denny Zeitlin Mosaic Select: Denny Zeitlin (3-CD)

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Format: CD  (3 Discs)
Item:  MOSL 34
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CD Details

  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Released: October 6, 2009
  • Label: Mosaic Select

Tracks on Disc 1:

  • 1.Repeat
  • 2.I-Thou
  • 3.Stonehenge
  • 4.Soon
  • 5.Nica's Tempo
  • 6.Cathexis
  • 7.'Round Midnight
  • 8.Little Children, Don't Go Near That House
  • 9.Blue Phoenix, Pt. 1
  • 10.Blue Phoenix, Pt. 2
  • 11.Blue Phoenix, Pt. 3
  • 12.Nica's Dream
  • 13.Requiem for Lili
  • 14.I Got Rhythm

Tracks on Disc 2:

  • 1.Carole's Garden
  • 2.We'll Be Together Again
  • 3.Skippying
  • 4.Once Upon a Summertime
  • 5.Carnival
  • 6.The Boy Next Door
  • 7.Minority
  • 8.After the War
  • 9.All the Things You Are
  • 10.The Decision
  • 11.The Journey Home
  • 12.Later
  • 13.Labyrinth

Tracks on Disc 3:

  • 1.Living Alone
  • 2.Dormammu
  • 3.Put Your Little Foot Right Out
  • 4.The Hyde Street Run
  • 5.Here's That Rainy Day
  • 6.I Got Rhythm
  • 7.Maiden Voyage
  • 8.Offshore Breeze
  • 9.Night and Day
  • 10.Mirage, Pt. 1
  • 11.Mirage, Pt. 2
  • 12.Slipstream
  • 13.The Bells of Solitude
  • 14.Western Thing
  • 15.Spring Is Here

Product Description:

Personnel: Denny Zeitlin (piano); Jerry Granelli (drums).
Audio Remixer: Mark Wilder.
Liner Note Authors: Denny Zeitlin; Leonard Feather; Nat Hentoff; Richard Seidel; Ted Gioia; Philip Elwood.
Recording information: Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York, NY (02/19/1964-03/18/1967); Columbia Studio A, L.A. (02/19/1964-03/18/1967).
Photographers: Henry Parker; Grover Sales.
Considering the hot pianists of the day were Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, and George Shearing, what Denny Zeitlin brought to the table as a performer and composer was a unique perspective that could have trumped them all. Had his professional calling not been that of a full-time clinical psychiatrist, he might have been the "it" guy had he received the kind of publicity the other three garnered. This outstanding offering in the Mosaic Select series contains Zeitlin's three piano-bass-drums recordings for Columbia Records done in Los Angeles, all which have become collectors' items on vinyl for their smaller press runs, but also the excellent music contained. The three-CD set includes some bonus tracks previously unreleased, but are not Zeitlin's complete studio works from this period, as he chose not to issue a handful of other selections or any alternate takes. What is included constitutes some of the best modern jazz in a piano trio-based format of the era -- period! The February, 1964 sessions that comprised Zeitlin's first album Cathexis kick off with a minimalist-before-minimalism original "Repeat" that is a good, swinging, shorthand bop that perfectly identifies what the pianist was thinking in terms of progressing the idiom. With bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Freddie Waits, both with associations via Detroit at the time, Zeitlin has ideal partners to make some fantastic modern jazz. "Stonehenge" sounds like it is an extension of "Giant Steps," the title track is a fierce, two-chord hard bop excursion, while a spirited calypso version of Horace Silver's "Nica's Dream" and the free intro merging into the elusive melody of Gigi Gryce's "Nica's Tempo" show the breadth and depth of Zeitlin's experience. For the LP Carnival, done in October of 1964, the pianist teams with bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Jerry Granelli, where the color palette is widened, even though more standards are added to the repertoire. The leader composed "Carole's Garden" in a tuneful, fun posture, "Skippying" adds on to the humor quotient, and Gryce's "Minority" is really fired up in hard bop trim. While "The Decision" delves into much more drama, the antithetical "After the War" is seriously peaceful, and pieces like the solo ballad "The Journey Home," or the deep "Labyrinth" continue to expand Zeitlin's emotional range. A brilliant adaptation of the all-too-often-covered "All the Things Your Are" shows Zeitlin's fertile imagination can turn even the most standard changes into a new-sounding song. Some of the material intended for Zeitgeist, an April 1966 date, again with Haden and Granelli, was unissued or rejected, but "The Decision," "The Journey Home," and "Labyrinth" made it to this collection. The final disc showcases Zeitlin with bassist Joe Halpin and drummer Oliver Johnson from March of 1967. "Dormammu," for a comic book villain, has expected mercurial, bizarre changes in a hard bop framework, "The Hyde Street Run" is an original bossa nova not typical of Zeitlin, "I Got Rhythm" is absolutely frantic and barn burning, while a straight take of Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage" shows the pianist is cognizant of the current jazz of the times. Most evocative is the 17-minute "Mirage," held together by a faux waltz followed by multiple changes in time per measure. In a free mood with percussive shakers, "Western Thing" is not so much a cowboy song as it is a representation of the new California thing in 10/4 time, while "Slipstream" is the most artful bop tune of the set, marking a new direction for Zeitlin via Thelonious Monk. With so much variety and depth-of-field vision, not to mention everything here sounding so fresh decades later, it's hard to find much fault because there isn't any. Considering Denny Zeitlin's sustainable career as a premier jazz pianist, this is his best work, even though it's his earliest. You'd be well-served in listening to all of the recordings that followed these premier seminal sessions, and discover that his early beginnings were like riding the tail of a comet. ~ Michael G. Nastos
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Product Info:

  • UPC: 886972880327
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 3 items