Denny Zeitlin - Panoply (2024) [Hi-Res]

  • 16 Jun, 11:04
  • change text size:

Title: Panoply
Year Of Release: 2024
Label: Sunnyside
Genre: Jazz
Quality: 16-bit/44.1kHz FLAC; 24-bit/44100 Hz (39.1%), 88200 Hz (25.5%), 96000 Hz (17.8%), 48000 Hz (17.6%) FLAC
Total Time: 77 min
Total Size: 404; 888 MB

The past few decades have seen legendary pianist and composer Denny Zeitlin focus on a few vehicles for his adventurous journeys in music making. Playing solo, with his trio, or in the acoustic-electronic duo with George Marsh have provided ample avenues for exploration, which Zeitlin hopes to provide a wide scope of on his new, varied collection, Panoply.

Zeitlin discovered jazz as an adolescent growing up in Chicago and began his recording career in the 1960s on the East Coast while a medical student at Johns Hopkins. This series of ground-breaking trio albums for Columbia Records brought him into prominence as a pianist/composer of high regard. During this time, Zeitlin moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he continued to evolve musically, pioneering in a multi-genre integration of acoustic and electronic music.

Six decades of music making has displayed Zeitlin’s imagination and creative resources. He continues to make highly engaging and singular musical statements utilizing all the influences and materials he has picked up along the way.

For nearly 15 years, Zeitlin has released new recordings yearly on Sunnyside Records. These documents highlight the different methods he has centered upon as a leader. Zeitlin’s trio that features bassist Buster Williams and drummer Matt Wilson is a seasoned and adventurous ensemble that continues to generate fire in performance. Zeitlin’s nearly six-decade long collaboration with drummer/percussionist George Marsh continues to yield extraordinary results, especially as they have continually broadened their color and textural palettes with electronic sounds. Finally, Zeitlin continues to perform solo piano recitals, maintaining his status as one of the foremost solo improvisers and musical interpreters.

For Panoply, Zeitlin has collected unreleased performances from the past decade that highlight his and his musical partners’ fantastic command in improvisation regardless of genre or medium. Zeitlin carefully curated this program to provide a sequence that blends acoustic and electronic music which transitions well and lets the music unfold.

The solo piano pieces come from a recording made on December 1, 2012 at the Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland, while the trio recordings were captured live at Mezzrow Jazz Club in New York City from May 3 to 4, 2019. The duo pieces with Marsh were collected over a decade of home recordings at Zeitlin’s Double Helix Studio from 2013 to 2023.

The program begins with the trio’s take on George Gershwin’s “I Was Doing All Right,” the rhythm section’s easy swing providing an ample background for Zeitlin’s rhapsodic piano playing. A dynamic duo with Marsh follows with “Excursion,” which finds the two friends jumping headfirst into an upbeat and eclectic sound world. A gorgeous solo performance of Bill Lee’s “Only One” follows highlighting Zeitlin’s exquisite touch and ability to build creatively from the source material, while another Marsh duo, “Ambush,” highlights their ability to surprise each other during a collective creation.

The duo returns for “Music Box,” an improvised piece that leans toward the delicate but is never afraid to branch into new realms. Ray Noble’s classic “Cherokee” gets Zeitlin’s harmonically and rhythmically progressive treatment, while the electric duo’s “Regret” lends a mood of quiet reflections in blue. Williams and Wilson return for a playful and expansive version of Miles Davis’s “Weirdo.”

Marsh and Zeitlin set sail on “A Raft, A River,” which features a rolling quality as if the two improvisers were set adrift. Zeitlin performs his own “Limburger Pie and Beeswax Crust” on solo piano, finding many moods and textures as he extemporizes. Stordahl and Weston’s “I Should Care” gets a seductive reading from the trio, while the program concludes with a rousing, uptempo take on Billy Strayhorn’s “Johnny Come Lately,” really showcasing the trio’s incredible interplay.

Though Denny Zeitlin has always shown interest in eclectic and divergent musical sounds, what has remained constant is his sense of openness and a spirit for adventure. The three sides of his musical world that Zeitlin showcases on Panoply might provide different tonalities and approaches, but they all continue a particular modality, namely, Zeitlin’s search and celebration of the unknown.

Denny Zeitlin - piano, hardware & virtual synthesizers, keyboards
George Marsh - drums, percussion
Buster Williams - bass
Matt Wilson - drums

1.01 - DENNY ZEITLIN - I Was Doing All Right (6:12)
1.02 - DENNY ZEITLIN - Excursion (5:38)
1.03 - DENNY ZEITLIN - Only One (7:21)
1.04 - DENNY ZEITLIN - Ambush (2:56)
1.05 - DENNY ZEITLIN - Music Box (5:59)
1.06 - DENNY ZEITLIN - Cherokee (5:08)
1.07 - DENNY ZEITLIN - Regret (4:44)
1.08 - DENNY ZEITLIN - Weirdo (7:35)
1.09 - DENNY ZEITLIN - A Raft, A River (6:12)
1.10 - DENNY ZEITLIN - Limburger Pie and Beeswax Crust (7:16)
1.11 - DENNY ZEITLIN - I Should Care (8:02)
1.12 - DENNY ZEITLIN - Johnny Come Lately (10:28)