Wednesday, September 14, 2016

USA: Critical Acclaim for Denny Zeitlin's "Early Wayne" Sunnyside Records


(Sunnyside SSC 1456) Street Date: July 8, 2016

For "Early Wayne"

" One master honors another…he applies his jeweler's-gimlet eye and sure hands to mine and re-cut '60s gems for optimum clarity and brilliance…Zeitlin, a magus in full power at solo keyboard, makes us envision anew a composer we may have taken for granted."
Fred Bouchard, Downbeat Magazine

"One of my favorite new jazz piano albums so far this year  Denny's approach on the album is tremendously exciting and free-spirited… What I love most is how Denny reconstructs Shorter's stormy and tender themes, launching waves of explorations that find new ground while remaining simpatico with Shorter's own vision….Bravo Denny!"
Marc Myers, jazzwax

"…a magnificent example of an artist displaying the ability to create Jazz at the highest level of personal expression… I’ve been listening to Denny’s music in performance and on recordings for over 50 years and I view each new opportunity to do as another episode to hear his quest for truth…"
Steven Cerra, jazzprofiles

"Pianist Denny Zeitlin is the perfect choice to interpret material by who he calls “jazz’s greatest living composer,” Wayne Shorter. They both are gifted at creating material that can be swinging, clever, tangential, free and explorative… this is a meeting made in heaven… a session to savor for the exposure of one brilliant mind exploring another."
George W. Harris, jazzweekly

"This live solo-piano recital is an ambitious undertaking…Shorter's compositions, with their motivically assembled melodic structures and proprietary harmonic environments, are famously challenging.  But Denny Zeitlin never sounds worried.  He sounds exhilarated, caught up in the adventure…Given its erudition, it is surprising and impressive that this album was created not with multiple takes and edits in a studio but in one outpouring before a live audience…Zeitlin was having a really good day." Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes Magazine 

"…we are taken on an excursion into Zeitlin’s world of possibilities and it’s a wonderful world indeed. His facility is flawless, but the joy one feels has more to do with the inventiveness of his ideas than with his execution…"
Ralph A. Miriello, huffingtonpost

"…Each piece played by Zeitlin is a performance of surpassing brilliance and character… performances that are carried on an irresistible tide of almost youthful exuberance. I come away with a greater conviction that Denny Zeitlin may well be one of the most remarkable pianists of our time."
Raul da Gama,  jazzdagama

"…His sound is a cross-section of the classical and the modern, almost overflowing with ideas and sharp, sudden contrasts…this is an artist who immerses himself in the total experience of unwrapping the complex… with equal abandon and laser focus."  
Carol Banks Weber, axs

"…what a brilliant interpreter Denny Zeitlin has been and remains.  This is music to play over and over as one hears more each time through the program.  Close your eyes and enjoy the shower of notes as they rain down on your mind and soul. "  
Richard B. Kamins, steptempest

"…Zeitlin's immersion [in Shorter's compositions]… feel dynamic and joyful, like rapturous and freewheeling interpretations time-tested truths…infusing classic on-edge beauty with virtuoso pianism and idiosyncratic imagination."   
Dan McClenaghan, allaboutjazz

"…at 78, we find Zeitlin continuing to break new ground with the passion and vision of the college junior that encountered these tunes for the first time. An absolute artistic triumph…"
Chris Spector, midwestrecord

The combination of performer, material, venue and appreciative audience could hardly be bettered… this marvelous tribute from one musical master to another. Very warmly recommended. "
Stuart Kremsky, Mr. Stu's Record Room, skremsky.tumblr

"…He finds freshness in music that already has an aura of modernity despite Shorter’s having written most of it decades ago. Zeitlin unleashes his imagination and formidable technique… This is an important addition to Zeitlin’s discography…"
Doug Ramsey,

Denny Zeitlin, who has been recording for over fifty years, is masterful to the point of completely taking over the listening space … The sheer pianistic virtuosity and high musicianship of Zeitlin makes Early Wayne a delightful gem and many times a mesmerizing experience." Budd Kopman, allaboutjazz

"…The beautifully creative pianism of Denny Zeitlin gives us some extraordinarily new life to Wayne Shorter classics… Of course Zeitlin has had the touch and the feel for stretching music since he first started out. And with this album he reminds us how deep he has gotten into the four-dimensional world of Zeitological piano… It's a shining example of what sort of brilliant things Denny Zeitlin does these days." 
Grego Applegate Edwards, gapplegatemusicreview



Please Forward This Announcement to People Who May Be Interested

A Note From Denny Zeitlin…

I was a junior in college in 1959 when Wayne Shorter made his recording debut as a leader, and was captivated by the originality of his sound and concept, both as a performer and composer.
He has continued to inspire me over the ensuing decades, and I've recorded his compositions on a number of occasions.

The idea of an entire concert of Wayne's tunes as launching pads into improvisation occurred to me as I was preparing for an annual performance at the Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland, California.  The venue is perfect—a stable of marvelous pianos ; an intimate concert space that attracts an attentive and adventurous audience; flawless acoustics; and a staff that really cares about the music.

I believe that Wayne is jazz's  greatest living composer and improviser, and for this concert, I focused on his timeless early compositions.  They are all from the sixties, with the exception of "Ana Maria," published in the seventies. I hope you will enjoy these explorations.

1) Speak No Evil  7:16  (Miyako Music, BMI)

2) Nefertiti  7:55  (Miyako Music, BMI)

3)  Ju Ju  7:38  (Miyako Music, BMI)

4  Teru  7:30  (Miyako Music, BMI)

5)  Toy Tune  6:04 (Iska Music, BMI)

6)  Infant Eyes  8:37 (Miyako Music, BMI)

7)  Paraphernalia  7:51  (Miyako Music, BMI)

8)  Ana Maria  6:32  (Iska Music, BMI)

9)  E.S.P.  5:54  (Miyako Music, BMI)

10)  Miyako  4:10  (Miyako Music, BMI)

Additional Credits:

Produced by Denny Zeitlin

Recorded at Piedmont Piano Company, Oakland, CA,  December 5, 2014

Recording Engineer: Vadim Canby

Mixing and Mastering Engineer: Vadim Canby & Denny Zeitlin

Photography:  Josephine Zeitlin

Graphic Design:  Chris Drukker

Cover Illustration:  Manuel Menchen Ozaita

Denny Zeitlin is a Steinway Artist

Thanks to:

Wayne Shorter, for the gift of his music

Francois Zalacain and the staff at Sunnyside, for their support of this project

Jim Callahan, his family, and staff for providing a world-class venue

Vadim Canby, for his impeccable recording, mixing, and mastering

My wife Josephine, for nurturing my music in countless ways

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