This live album was recorded over a five-year period between 2001 and 2006 at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles and the Outpost in Albuquerque. Denny Zeitlin and his trio stretch way out, let tunes flow according to the dictates of particular evenings in California and New Mexico, and give everyone space to blow. In Concert is extravagant and spontaneous as only live recordings can be, but never feels loose or rough.
Zeitlin is an instinctively orderly artist. “Mr. P.C.” has a quick-on-quick original minor blues chorus, a strange unaccompanied out-of-time free piano interlude that finds its way beautifully back to the blues, a trio ride that is half-time but hard, a long, winding road of a bass solo, briefly dominant drums, and a flat-out sprint to the finish line. It is a 13-minute workout with symmetry and balance. “The Night Has 1000 Eyes” is a 20-minute epic with a sequel appended by Zeitlin called “The Night Has 10,000 Eyes.” The whole has myriad subplots and corollaries and inspired individual and collective improvisation, all tied together by strategic vamps.
Zeitlin has been making piano trio records for 45 years. This trio with Buster Williams and Matt Wilson may be his strongest, tightest ever.