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Stairway To The Stars

Denny ZeitlinAudio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Price: $16.06 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2014 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2014 $16.06  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. There Will Never Be Another You 7:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. You Don't Know What Love Is 9:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. I Could Have Told You 7:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Oleo 3:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Stairway to the Stars 7:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I'll Take Romance 7:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Bass Prelude to Deluge 2:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Deluge 8:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Spring Is Here 7:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Out for a Stroll 6:10$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 8, 2014)
  • Original Release Date: 2014
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sunnyside Records
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,255 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

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. Opportunities for solo performances and electronic music work have become his focus over the past two decades.

It was with pleasure that Zeitlin accepted an invitation to record a trio album for Venus Records of Japan entitled As Long As There s Music in 1996. The pianist knew that he wanted to invite the great bassist Buster Williams to be a part of the ensemble alongside drummer Al Foster. In 2001, the San Francisco Jazz Festival invited Zeitlin s trio to perform and, finding Foster busy, Zeitlin found a more than capable substitute in the young Matt Wilson, thus establishing the Denny Zeitlin Trio that has been the same ever since.

In 2009, Sunnyside released a collection of recordings by the Trio, In Concert, Featuring Buster Williams and Matt Wilson. The tracks were collected from live performances done at The Jazz Bakery in Culver City, California and The Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque, New Mexico from 2001 to 2006.

The Trio s new release Stairway To The Stars is a full set of pieces performed at The Jazz Bakery in November 2001 at the ensemble s inception, and recorded by the late, great engineer Drew Daniels. This exquisite recording captures the group at its best, all members locked into a fantastic musical dialog on eight beloved standards and one Zeitlin original.

The recording begins with a rolling 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 voluptuous rendition. The Trio continues with the lilting 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 really highlights the resonance of Williams s bass playing and Wilson s tasteful brushwork.

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 while the tune follows with its unique variety of steady swing and offbeat composition. 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 fantastic 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 their music presents its strength with subtlety and taste rather than bombast.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great trio disc July 10, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is one of the finest trio recordings to appear in recent years. Zeitlin, Williams, and Wilson function as equals, and their musical communication borders on the telepathic. The program consists mainly of standards, with some fine originals thrown in for balance, The moods of the group vary from the exuberant (Oleo) to the pensive (I Should Have Told You). Recommended highly. Les Peetz
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Some words from Denny Zeitlin: "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. Read more ›
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Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Denny Zeitlin is one of the great under rated jazz pianists. This is a superb album that includes a half dozen marvelous lesser played gems from the great American Songbook and compositions by Wayne Shorter and Sonny Rollins. This is a real trio album with wonderful interplay between Denny, the terrific veteran bassist Buster Williams and an excellent drummer Matt Wilson heretofore unknown to me. The only surprise was that this fine album recorded in 2001 wasn't released until this year. Hopefully there is more by this trio in the vault ready for release.

Tom Harris
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