Denny Zeitlin: Dormammu




Denny Zeitlin (piano)


The Columbia Studio Trio Sessions (Mosaic Select 34)

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Denny Zeitlin (piano),

Joe Halpin (bass), Oliver Johnson (drums)


Composed by Denny Zeitlin


Recorded: Los Angeles, March 18, 1967


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Denny Zeitlin’s 1964-1966 trio with Charlie Haden and Jerry Granelli was followed by one of similar duration with Joe Halpin and Oliver Johnson (1944-2002). Though relatively obscure, Halpin and Johnson were no less capable than their predecessors, and this trio (documented on half of Zeitlin’s Zeitgeist album, as well as on previously unreleased selections in the Mosaic Select set) produced some memorable music.

As described in Phil Elwood’s original Zeitgeist liner notes, The title refers to a legendary ruler of other dimensions, a man of great mysterious powers in a comic book series. Such exoticism is reflected in Zeitlin’s composition, an up-tempo, stop-and-start piece that evolves into a churning free improvisation. (Johnson’s ability to play both structured and free music served him well after he moved to Europe and became soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy’s long-time drummer. The little-known Halpin died in the late 1960s.)

Reviewer: Bill Kirchner

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