Pianist Denny Zeitlin has the distinction—among many others—of having written one of the loveliest of loves songs: "Love Theme From Invasion of the Bodysnatchers." The tune can be heard in its unadorned beauty on Zeitlin's Precipice (Sunnyside Records, 2010), the recording of an extraordinarily beautiful and adventurous solo concert. The original version of the tune, from the soundtrack of the 1978 movie, Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (1978)—a masterful remake of the classic 1954 science fiction film—was Zeitlin's lone effort at writing for film. Hired originally to do a "jazz" score, Zeitlin found it necessary—when plans changed—to convince the powers-that-be that he was indeed capable of writing music for symphony orchestra and electronics—the then-new-on-the scene synthesizers.
Both artists are gifted, cutting-edge soloists whose interaction with each other seems to occur on an almost symbiotic plane of connectedness. ~Los Angeles Times
Very hip piano trio work – the first Columbia album by Denny Zeitlin, a young fresh talent in the 60s, with an approach that was lyrical, slightly modern, and a bit soulful. The album features a great rhythm section of Cecil McBee on bass and Freddy Waits on drums. Most tunes are originals by Zeitlin – and titles include "Stonehenge", "Cathexis", "I Thou", "Blue Phoenix", and "Nica's Tempo". (Source: Dusty Groove America, Inc.)
This enjoyable effort, one of pianist Denny Zeitlin's infrequent recordings, has four trio selections recorded with bassist Joel DiBartolo and drummer Peter Donald (the other performances from the same sessions comprise Zeitlin's earlier Windham Hill Jazz release Trio) plus four 1989 duets with bassist David Friesen. Six Zeitlin originals are joined by Friesen's "Underlying," Ornette Coleman's obscure "Broadway Blues" and the standard "Blues In The Night." Harmonically advanced and thought-provoking yet mostly swinging music. ~Scott Yanow, allmusic.com
Reissue with the latest 2014 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Since the 1960s, pianist Denny Zeitlin's recording career has been erratic due to his concentration on his full-time psychiatric practice, so the reissue of some of his earliest recordings will hopefully satisfy fans who haven't had anything new to acquire since his 1992 Live at Maybeck Recital Hall. The intelligent buildup from the repeated motif of the intense, boppish "Repeat," the rich voicings within "I-Thou," and the dazzling runs through the blazing "Cathexis" make it no surprise that Zeitlin received critical acclaim early in his career.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. Pianist Denny Zeitlin's third Columbia release is a live session recorded during a break from his internship as a psychiatrist. With bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Jerry Granelli, it's clear that Zeitlin didn't ignore his jazz chops in spite of the long hours required of him in medicine.
Remarkably, whether he's playing an impressionistic ballad, a hard bop classic or a free original, Denny Zeitlin sounds like no other. He has the technique and harmonic knowledge to execute anything his fertile imagination conjures up. His music resonates with joy and honesty. Denny Zeitlin's first album, Cathexis, recorded in 1964 with Cecil McBee and Freddie Waits was an instant critical and commercial success with Zeitlin hailed as a new and original voice of the piano. Later in 1964, Denny assembled another amazing trio with Charlie Haden and Jerry Granelli and released the album Carnival. Zeitgeist was recorded over 1966 and '67 and documented the end of the trio with Haden and Granelli and the beginning of one with Joe Halpin and Oliver Johnson, two brilliant musicians who died young.
This recording may be out of print but it's worth going out of your way to find. Zeitlin and Haden communicate beautifully throughout, with lyrical passages alternating with long, semi-abstract bass solos (particularly on the first cut, "Chairman Mao.") The recording is done live in front of a small audience, with excellent production values (somewhat reminiscent of Oscar Peterson's "Exclusively for My Friends" recordings for MPS in the sixties). Zeitlin is not very well known but has lately re-emerged as a very dynamic player in the Bill Evans/Fred Hersch/Mulgrew Miller tradition. (Source: Customer review at amazon.com)