Denny Zeitlin and George Marsh have such a long history together but still manage to keep their partnership fresh because of their fearless experimental bent. On Telepathy, these long-established veterans from the 60s act like young upstarts showing the jazz world a fresh new approach.
Denny Zeitlin & George Marsh
Released Jun. 25, 2021
"…Telepathy is a brilliant showcase of just how far Zeitlin and Marsh have come as a creative team… These guys have become so adept at reading each other’s minds, and so comfortable responding to each other’s spontaneous moves, that many of the tracks on Telepathy come across as preconceived tunes performed by a full band. Other tracks smack of more traditional free-improv conversations. All taken together, Zeitlin and Marsh collectively succeed at assembling wildly divergent sounds and rhythms into coherent working structures while allowing the music — their music — to emerge entirely on its own."
"Music can heal. It can be a personal thing, depending on your musical profile sometimes.
Pianist-electroacoustician Denny Zeitlin and drummer George Marsh have made some incredible music together for many years, so much so and so productively so that they have developed a Telepathy together. It is fittingly the title of their latest collaboration (Sunnyside CD). This as the third Electroacoustic duo outing for the two since 2015. I've covered the others and many of his additional projects as well on these pages. Look him up in the search box above for the other reviews.
It is music so improvisationally limber that it gives off a kind of healing vibe, at least to me. There is a joy of duo closeness and a making the electroacoustics sound spontaneously in performance space. And the continual open-form brilliance of Denny's adroit key realizations and George's swinging and inventive drumming, it just emits a kind of soul healing vividness.
Sometimes Denny's keyboard programming choices sound nearly orchestral, other times it has that club duo reaching-out thing happening, but always it works and George is right there responding with lots of great drumming. And needless to say it is also a matter of the free improv prowess of Maestro Zeitlin, his vivid harmonic-melodic-rhythmic inventiveness that makes this music exceptional."
Grego Applegate Edwards, gapplegatemusicreview
… This one is no afterthought. It is essential. Nobody mixes up the synth and piano like Denny. And George is the perfect foil, a master drummer at the top of his game, totally attuned to what Denny is doing. Very recommended.”
Grego Applegate Edwards, gapplegatemusicreview
"This one's a goody, folks. Brand new, too.
I’ve long been an admirer of George Marsh, a drummer who has taught and practiced the art of the road-less-traveled when it comes to music and the movement made when making music. His is an important voice ... long a staple on the San Francisco drumming scene, it's good to hear him sounding so good here.
From two master improvisers, composers, mentors and players."
“…As the innovation of an electronic approach becomes more prominent in jazz, it is the veterans, Denny Zeitlin and George Marsh—with about a hundred and twenty years of professional musical experience between them—who are making the most interesting music in the field, pushing things further ahead with Telepathy: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations. “
This album is a great example of how age is forced to retreat before the inner energy, talent and creative imagination of great masters. Both members of this duo are gray-haired veterans: Denny Zeitlin is in his ninth decade (he was born in 1938), a few years earlier than George Marsh. And thanks to jazz, which allows its favorites to preserve youthful freshness and creativity even at an advanced age.
Denny Zeitlin is a unique personality. He is one of the few in jazz for whom music is just one of the professions. He is called the best psychiatrist among jazzmen and the best jazzman among psychiatrists. This is a good irony, because Zeitlin really made great strides on both paths. A longtime professor of psychiatry at the University of California and a medical practitioner, he was recognized by DownBeat critics as the best pianist back in 1965 and 1974, and the guru of jazz criticism, the visionary Leonard Feather called him "the most versatile young pianist who gained fame in the early 60s."
This versatility is characteristic of Denny Zeitlin's long career in jazz, who repeatedly switched from electric to acoustics and vice versa, having recorded many albums and solos, and in a variety of formats. His old friend George Marsh, with whom they first started playing back in the 60s, unlike his colleague, is monogamous. He devoted all his life to his favorite percussion instruments. Marsh has recorded with many celebrities, wrote the acclaimed drumming manual Inner Drumming, and is also a professor at the University of California.