Denny Zeitlin and Charlie Haden joined forces for this 1981 date at the Keystone Korner, covering a wide range of material in this exciting duo set. Haden's "Chairman Mao" is a complex number, as Haden opens with an intense repetitious vamp before Zeitlin enters with the delicate Oriental-flavored theme, which sets up Haden's intricate bass solo. The duo has lots of fun with Ornette Coleman's topsy-turvy blues "Bird Food" before reverting to a lovely standard ballad, "As Long as There's Music," with an added emphasis on its lyricism. Zeitlin's intriguing "Time Remembers One Time Once" starts as a waltz but its sudden turns defy prediction. Their laid-back approach to "Love for Sale" is refreshing, especially when compared to the typically uptempo arrangements heard all too often. A medley of John Coltrane's "Satellite" and the old warhorse "How High the Moon" (with Haden coyly interpolating Charlie Parker's "Ornithology," which is based upon "How High the Moon") also works beautifully. The occasional over-modulation in this recording doesn't detract from the outstanding performances.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden