Interview: Denny Zeitlin (Part 3) - JazzWax

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August 05, 2009


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Larry Kart

Fascinating -- can't wait to read Part 4. I used to hear Denny in the mid-to-late-1950s at jam sessions in people's homes on Chicago's North Shore, with if IIRC players like bassist Tim Byrne and drummer Tom McAuliffe (and also on Monday nights in fast company at the off-night sessions Joe Segal ran at Gate of Horn) -- this when Denny would be up visiting his home area from the U. of Illinois. He was as terrific back then as he has been ever since. Wish I still had my copy of "Flute Fever," don't recall what happened to it.

Ed Leimbacher

The Zeitlin Zeitgeist is kinda daunting. How does such a high IQ intelligence make room for right brain creativity, or allow true improvisation? Does that refined consciousness not finally retain control? And tomorrow the good doctor psychoanalyzes "troubled" pianists? Hmmm... Powell and Marmarosa? Monk and Evans? (Certainly not Peterson or Garner!) Which of our piano greats will he locate inside the moment and outside the changes, traumatized so jung, left so easily freudened? (Okay, so I'm taking the mickey. A fascinating interview, yes, but I'm too simple a bloke to grasp its subtleties.)

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Rock Concert: An Oral History" (Grove), "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards
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