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NEW RELEASE: Denny Zeitlin. Stairway To The Stars

Publicat in: 18.08.2014, 06:04AM
Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Comentarii: 0
Vizualizari: 441
Etichete: Buster Williams, Denny Zeitlin, Matt Wilson, Stairway To The Stars, Sunnyside
NEW RELEASE:  Denny Zeitlin. Stairway To The Stars
Stairway To The Stars
Street Date July 8, 2014 
  • MATT WILSON-drums

"My thoughts turned to Buster Williams when I was preparing for a trio slot at the 2001 San Francisco Jazz Festival.  I had realized a decades- long dream of playing with him a few years earlier on an album for Venus Records, "As Long As There's Music," and loved his sound, deep groove, harmonic sensibility and spirit of adventure.  A friend recommended a young drummer named Matt Wilson, whom I had not heard.  Internet audio clips confirmed that this guy could really play. It turned out he was a fan of Buster's and my music, and was available both for the festival, and a gig at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles that followed. 

I had a chance to go over the material with each of them separately, but the first time the three of us actually played together was on the festival stage.  The chemistry was magical, and the music felt like it could go anywhere.  Matt was the perfect choice for Buster and me; he seemed telepathic, with terrific swing, humor, and desire to explore. In the ensuing days at the Jazz Bakery, the three of us experienced some very special music unfold, and I was lucky to be able to get the late Drew Daniels, a brilliant engineer, to record the music on this CD. The majority of the pieces are American songbook standards whose lyrics focus on love found or love lost.
While in recent years I've focused primarily on solo and electro-acoustic recording, I’ve been involved in trio performance since high school, powerfully attracted to the combination of piano, bass, and drums, and have recorded most frequently in this format. The piano, a “string-cussion” instrument, has an affinity for both bass and drums, and all three together ideally create an equilateral triangle of great flexibility, mutuality, and stability. With musicians of the caliber of Buster and Matt, the music is truly wide open and constantly evolving, and I'm glad we've been able to take some snapshots along the way: "Slickrock" (2004), "Trio In Concert" (2009), and now the release of our first encounter in 2001." 
                                                                                        Denny Zeitlin
The Trio’s new release on Sunnyside – Stairway To The Stars – is a full set of pieces performed at The Jazz Bakery in November 2001. This exquisite recording captures the group locked into a fantastic musical dialog on eight beloved standards and one Zeitlin original.
The recording begins with a freewheeling take on Harry Warren’s “There Will Never Be Another You” which is followed by Gene de Paul’s “You Don’t Know What Love Is” in a subtle yet voluptuously reharmonized rendition. The Trio continues with the haunting Jimmy Van Heusen ballad “I Could Have Told You,” showcasing the impressionistic style that Zeitlin loves to incorporate. A rambunctious take of Sonny Rollins’s “Oleo” adds some vigor to the proceeding. The spare version of Matt Malneck and Frank Signorelli’s “Stairway To The Stars” highlights the resonance of Williams’s bass and Wilson’s tasteful brushes.
The disc continues with Ben Oakland’s “I’ll Take Romance,” introduced by Zeitlin’s introspective solo piano before Williams and Wilson materialize. Wayne Shorter’s “Deluge” is preceded by a tremendous solo bass exposition by Williams, followed by a unique variety of steady swing and offbeat improvisation. Richard Rodgers’s “Spring Is Here” is performed in a mysterious, hazy fashion and is followed by Zeitlin’s own “Out For A Stroll,” a jaunty, swinging number that encapsulates the group’s ability to strut while laying back.
Stairway To The Stars is a remarkable example of the melding of three talented individuals into an astoundingly effective ensemble. Denny Zeitlin, Buster Williams and Matt Wilson compose a true musical powerhouse, though the music on this CD presents its strength with subtlety and taste rather than bombast.



More Info
Sunnyside Records

enny Zeitlin

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