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Patrick Zimmerli Ensemble: Expansion

Glenn Astarita By

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A 1993 winner of jazz' prestigious BMI/Thelonious Monk Institute Composer's Competition, saxophonist/composer Patrick Zimmerli's 2000 release titled, "Expansion" represents the artist's third recording as a leader and signifies his penchant for combining multifarious musical elements with poignant, breezy themes amid wavering rhythms and engaging group dialogue. A distinct sense of flotation prevails yet Zimmerli, guitarist Ben Monder, bassist Stomu Takeishi and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi are quite adept at melding fragmented motifs into comprehensive statements that intertwine and redevelop into climactic opuses featuring Zimmerli's extended notes and richly melodic lyricism. Throughout, guitarist Ben Monder counterbalances the saxophonist with deft single note leads and subtle chord voicings while the Takeishi Brothers provide the predominately linear underpinnings. However, the saxophonist employs a shift in strategy as he turns in a softly stated and stunningly beautiful rendition of the time-honored standard, "Invitation." With photos of our expanding universe gracing the CD liners, the Patrick Zimmerli Ensemble achieves the desired or perhaps implied effect of defying time and space while performing with quiet fire and blithe spirit along with a relaxed sense of urgency. Zimmerli's impressionistic dreamscapes amid the band's heated flurries and circuitous discourses signify a mark of invention while the saxophonist pursues a sound and style that is clearly his own!

Track Listing: Sand; Evidence; The Elements Suite: Fire/Earth; Air; Water; Invitation.

Personnel: Patrick Zimmerli; Ben Monder.

Title: Expansion | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings


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