1. Body and Soul
3. Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars / How Insensitive
4. Last Night When We Were Young
5. I Hear A Rhapsody
6. Time Remembers One Time Once
7. The Meaning Of The Blues
8. My Dream Is Yours
9. You Don't Know What Love Is
10. Wherever You Are
CD Quality - 16 bit / 44.1 khz
It’s said that the true test of a jazz musician’s mettle is to hear how they treat a ballad. Legendary pianist Denny Zeitlin no longer needs to prove his fantastic ability as a master interpreter of ballads, along with many other songs. On his new Sunnyside recording Wherever You Are, Zeitlin presents an entire program of ballads (classics from the American Songbook along with a couple of originals and tasteful renditions of compositions by the master songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim.)
Wherever You Are is Zeitlin’s third solo outing for Sunnyside and his most focused. The pianist’s intent to explore a particular mood and style rewards the listener with a very personal experience: “My hope is that you will be rewarded by deep listening to this album, and also find it a worthy companion to activities of daily life – a fine meal, perhaps; moments of contemplation; and most especially, being with someone you love.”
Zeitlin’s love for these compositions isn’t only for the brilliant compositions but also for the lyrics that accompany them. The best interpreters know not only the harmonic particularities of these gems but also the inflections and nuances that only a human voice can invoke. The true masters can make the song sing without a syllable being sung. Zeitlin does that here.
The album begins with the composer Johnny Green’s classic “Body and Soul” re-harmonized and lovingly embellished by Zeitlin’s musing. “Good-Bye” by Gordon Jenkins follows with its plaintive, melancholy melody. The short medley of Jobim’s “ Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars/How Insensitive” is an unintentional but natural shift from one of this master composer’s deeply sensual bossa novas into another. Harold Arlen’s “Last Night When We Were Young” arises subtly, poignantly as the pianist caresses a lovely performance from the instrument. Zeitlin challenges himself by reharmonizing the melody of Fragos, Baker and Gasparre’s “I Hear a Rhapsody,” making a very unique rendition of this standard.
“Time Remembers One Time Once” is one of Zeitlin’s favorite original compositions – a waltz that arrived fully formed – which he dances through. Bobby Troup and Leah Worth’s “The Meaning of the Blues” is a lilting, solemn number that Zeitlin utilizes resonating high notes on and a reflective pace. “My Dream Is Yours” by Harry Warren and Gene De Paul and Don Raye’s “You Don’t Know What Love Is” are perfect vehicles for the pianist’s ruminative improvisations. The album concludes with Zeitlin’s “Wherever You Are” originally recorded for his album Tidal Wave is as stately as any of the other themes presented.
On Wherever You Are, Zeitlin performs an affecting set of paced, deeply emotive songs that are intended to make the listener pause in enjoyable reflection.