Friday, June 13, 2014

Denny Zeitlin Stairway To The Stars Sunnyside 2014

Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. This also work making a record and Denny Zeitlin, Buster Williams, and Matt Wilson nail this cold.
Brent Black /
The piano trio can be an unforgiving force of nature. Attitude, ego and agenda often find their way in the mix with the end result being a leader and couple of afterthoughts. Denny Zeitlin's Stairway To The Stars embraces the individual gifs of  each artist and this may be the driving force behind this live recording from the Jazz Bakery in 2001. Consisting of Buster Williams on bass and then rising star Matt Wilson on drums, the trio sets out

The trio is an extraordinary setting for pianist and rhythm section. Experienced musicians can take advantage of the flexibility that an ensemble of this size can afford them if they find the right collaborators. The forward-leaning pianist Denny Zeitlin has always been a fan of the trio with its unique musical challenges and rewards, though he finds himself playing in this setting infrequently. The slight more opened vision of Zeitlin  allows the harmonic changes to soar from easch member with highlights including the subtle nuanced of "You Don't Know What Love Is" to organic styling of "Stairway To The Stars: and back to the Zeitlan vibrant "Out For A Stroll" which reminds us swing is about the groove, not speed.
Stairway To The Stars could be easily sloughed off as old school. Maybe it is...Maybe if you listen to the notes that note play and allow yourself to take that harmonic road less traveled you will be see what I mean. A studio release of this magnitude but be great album. Stairwy To The Stars as a live release is catching lighting in bottle!
Tracks: There Will Be Another You; You Don't Know What Love Is; I Could Have Told You; Oleo; Stairway To The Stars; I'll Take Romance; Bass Prelude To Deluge; Deluge; Spring Here; Out For A Sroll.
Personnel: Danny Zeitlin: Piano; Buster Williams: Bass; Matt Wilson: Drums