Denny Zeitlin/Charlie Haden: Time Remembers One Time Once (ECM 1239)

 

Denny Zeitlin
Charlie Haden
Time Remembers One Time Once

Denny Zeitlin piano
Charlie Haden bass
Recorded live at Keystone Korner, San Francisco, July 1981
Engineer: Robert Shumaker
Produced by Manfred Eicher

Recorded in the intimate confines of San Francisco’s legendary Keystone Korner, Time Remembers One Time Once brings together the insight of bassist Charlie Haden and the Bill Evans-esque keys of Denny Zeitlin. Zeitlin is that rare breed of musician who holds down a stable and highly regarded day job—in his case, as a clinical professor of psychiatry—while managing to keep abreast of the jazzier side of life. Now in his early seventies, Zeitlin is still going strong in both the office and the studio. Although these lives would seem utterly separate—as a musician he goes by “Denny,” while as a professional he is known as “Dennis”—Zeitlin finds an abiding passion in both. And indeed, after the vampy, kalimba-like intro of Haden’s “Chairman Mao,” we find intimations of both in the soft thrum of its therapy. Haden makes for an ideal partner in this regard, as with each return he plays with our expectations, working his magic with a ceremonious smolder. Like its title, “Bird Food” (Coleman) scatters itself along the ground of our sonic attention and nibbles at it in thematic piles. The joining of this duo creates some the most sweeping sounds here. In the wake of such uplift, the tenderness of an old standby, “As Long As Their’s Music,” is magic to the ears. Laying down his smooth pianism over a pulpy firmament of bass, Zeitlin cradles us with paternal care into the arms of the title track. This goes down just as smoothly, like the honeyed tune that it is, and walks to the beat of its own heart. A gossamer precursor to Jasmine, “Love For Sale” is another lozenge of goodness. Haden brings his liturgical magic to the slow-moving cadenza that is his “Ellen David,” while Coltrane’s “Satellite” pairs gorgeously with another old-timer, “How High The Moon.” Luiz Eça’s “The Dolphin” also goes down easy, leaving us with nothing but a clean aftertaste from this unsung slice of ECM pie.

We all know that Haden can do no wrong, yet after listening to this out-of-print recording (though it is available digitally) it’s clear that neither can Zeitlin. A discovery to be treasured time and again.


Original cover

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