Denny Zeitlin: Precipice: Solo Piano Concert (2010)
Throughout the program, Zeitlin does something else with verve and splendor: he swings like the wickedest cat since Art Tatum. His left hand swerves and swaggers while his right hand makes florid whorls of the melody of the songs. His left chases down the melodic invention of his right hand with dense harmonic chords clusters as in "Out Of My Dreams." Then the hands may switch roles; a rumbling melodic phrase with the left and a naughty tinkle with the right, at the far end of the keyboard. All this in the space of a beautifully stated metaphor, explaining "The We Of Us." The mystery of the title becomes the magic of the rhapsodic song as Zeitlin puts imaginary arms around his love while no one is looking. This sprightly crepuscular encounter is followed by the more dense melody of "Deluge," which is meandering diversion before the breathlessly paced and superbly controlled "Oleo." The song's bop melody bookends a riotous improvised body that completely reinvents the original lines of the Sonny Rollins classic.
Zeitlin's "Love Theme from the Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is the tenderest moment of the set. A marvellous ballad, the melody pulsates like the heartbeat of lovers entwined. The ebb and flow of the song line unfolds breathlessly and with a charm of its own. That chart is only a stop away from the crescendo of "Pulsar" and "Precipice," a song with its own mercurial, wind-up which virtually explodes at the end. As a solo pianist, Zeitlin has made a significant contribution to the literature of piano music with Precipice. Although radically different from Keith Jarrett solo records and more like those of Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, this album is a timeless masterpiece from one of the greatest exponents of virtuoso pianoforte in the last two centuriesDenny Zeitlin.
Track Listing: Free Prelude/What Is This Thing Called Love/Fifth House Part One; Free Prelude/What Is this Thing Called Love/Fifth House Part Two; Out Of My Dreams; On The March; The We of Us; Deluge; Oleo; Love Theme from Invasion of the Body Snatchers; Pulsar; Precipice.
Personnel: Denny Zeitlin: piano.
Record Label: Sunnyside Records