Personnel: Patrick Zimmerli (soprano saxophone); Ben Monder (acoustic & electric guitars).
Octurn: Laurent Blondiau (trumpet, flugelhorn); Guillaume Orti (alto saxophone); Bo Van Der Werf (baritone saxophone); Geoffroy De Masure (trmobone); Fabian Fiorini (piano); Pierre Van Dormael (electric guitar); Otti Van Der Werf, Jean-Luc Lehr(bass); Stephane Galland, Chandler Sardjoe (drums).
Recorded at Jet Studio, Brussels, Belgium, between December 11th and 12th, 2000.
Personnel: Patrick Zimmerli (soprano saxophone); Ben Monder (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Pierre Vandormael (electric guitar); Guillaum Orti (alto saxophone); Bo Van Der Werf (baritone saxophone); Laurent Blondiau (trumpet, flugelhorn); Geoffroy DeMasure (trombone); Fabian Fiorini (piano); St?phane Galland, Chander Sardjoe (drums).
Audio Mixer: Aya Takemura.
Liner Note Author: Patrick Zimmerli.
Recording information: Duotone Studios, New York, NY (12/11/2000/12/12/2000); Jet Studio, Brussels, Belgium (12/11/2000/12/12/2000).
The Book of Hours, by New York-based composer/saxophonist Patrick Zimmerli supported by the Belgian little big band Octurn with previous collaborator Ben Monder guesting on guitar, should appeal to a broad spectrum of jazz listeners from straight-ahead to avant-garde. For those of the more straight-ahead persuasion, the album presents music of great beauty and melodicism; Zimmerli employs often bright and crisp colors and textures (fully realized here by the ten likeminded musicians of Octurn), and there is also a warmth that suggests the post-Gil Evans approaches of a composer like Maria Schneider. In short, The Book of Hours is engaging and accessible throughout, and shouldn't scare potential straight-ahead jazz listeners away, at least those not bound by rigid stylistic constraints. And listeners with a non-traditional streak should find favor in the polyphonic complexity of Zimmerli's scores, which disguise and embellish head-solos-head structures in unconventional ways (the canon-like "Interlude" segments have a particularly strong classical influence, beginning in duet form and adding instruments cumulatively during trio, quartet, and sextet iterations interspersed among the other album tracks). Thematic material (signifying the many moods of a passing day) is stated and restated in variation as soloists enter and exit against an always surprising and involving backdrop -- this is music that could keep even the most dedicated avant-gardist on his or her toes with its constantly evolving permutations. However, if you are an avant-garde jazz fan who favors apocalyptic free jazz filled with outbursts of dissonance, overblown multiphonics, and ear-splitting squeals, The Book of Hours is emphatically not for you. Zimmerli's music can be bold, energetic, and propulsive ("Night"), yet it often maintains a subtle and understated quality; even the seemingly highly improvised dialogue between baritone saxophone and percussion on "Noon" suggests a conversation rather than a shouting match. As for Zimmerli the saxophonist, his soprano solo on the lovely "Sleep" that concludes the disc is a thing of true beauty and one of the album's most striking improvisational moments, even as the piece tends to calm rather than excite the listener's heart. ~ Dave Lynch