Patrick Zimmerli – Phoenix (2005)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 64:03 minutes | Scans included | 3,18 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,15 GB
Features Stereo and Multichannel surround sound | Songlines Recordings # SGL SA1548-2
Phoenix, the sixth album by Patrick Zimmerli and his fourth on Songlines, finds the New York-based composer/saxophonist investigating new avenues of expression. The record integrates saxophone and jazz instruments with electronics and strings to create an appealing hybrid sound. It draws on Zimmerli’s wealth of experience in jazz, classical, and electronic/popular and film music. Sonically lush, beautifully recorded, and creatively mixed in 5.0 surround sound, Phoenix offers a varied set of responses to contemporary life that is both aesthetically intriguing and immediately approachable.
Usually, when jazz and electronica get together, it’s the former that ends up taking a back seat to the latter – a string bass sample lopes along underneath laid-back synth chords, or a saxophone tries to honk its way through a thicket of over-produced keyboards. Either way, the strategy is to take easy listening pap and give it a superficial gloss of hipness. The sixth album by saxophonist and composer Patrick Zimmerli takes just the opposite tack, and succeeds brilliantly. Instead of using disconnected jazz elements to spice up electronic Muzak, Zimmerli writes complex and beautiful jazz charts and spices them up with tasteful incursions of jittery, jungly breakbeats (courtesy of percussionist and programmer Satoshi Takeishi). His approach might sound gimmicky if it weren’t for the strength of his compositions, which manage to balance challenging formal complexity with intuitive, completely approachable beauty. He incorporates a string quartet into his arrangements in a way that brings to mind the more successful moments of Gunther Schuller’s third stream experimentation of the 1960s; his setting of the Jobim standard “How Insensitive” is one of the most intriguing and lovely ever recorded, and his own “Gnosis Crisis” combines cool strings with hot beats in a way that is both surprising and immediately attractive. Only the slightly bloated tone poem “Wunderlichen Stadt” (clocking in at over ten and a half minutes) fails to consistently hold one’s attention; everything else is a revelation. Very highly recommended.
02. Away From You
03. Wunderlichen Städt
04. How Insensitive
05. Clouds and Machines
06. The Bird Dances
10. Gnosis Crisis
11. Only Surround
13. Summer Passes
Patrick Zimmerli – soprano saxophone
Scott Yoo – violin 1
Yoon Kwon – violin 2
Maurycy Banaszek – viola
Inbal Segev – violincello
Kevin Hays – piano
Stomu Takeishi – fretless electric bass
Satoshi Takeishi – percussion, drum programming, electronics
Recorded on March 27-28, 2003 at Avatar Studios, NYC.