Dec 12, 2016
It was almost twenty-five years ago that saxophonist-composer Patrick Zimmerli recorded six original compositions in sessions that were eventually shelved. He met that day with a few of his musical peers and friends, who today are recognized as some of the most exciting and in-demand players in the jazz world – pianist Kevin Hays, bassist Larry Grenadier, percussionist Satoshi Takeishi, and drummer Tom Rainey. After Zimmerli was pestered for years to release the performances, Shores Against Silence finally saw the light of day this month.
The album is a fine example of what Zimmerli brings to his compositions, arrangements and performances – an integration of contemporary classical compositional techniques with modern jazz execution. Whether you are listing to Shores Against Silence, or his recent performance of “Clockworks” backed by pianist Ethan Iverson of the Bad Plus , bassist Chris Tordini and percussionist John Hollenbeck, or his collaborations with Brad Mehldau or Joshua Redman, the listener is hearing challenging yet engaging and welcoming music.
Patrick came onto the national jazz scene during the fabled 1993 Thelonious Monk competition, when “The Paw”, which opens Shores Against Silence, took top composition honors. Zimmerli was a finalist in the saxophone competition that year, when Joshua Redman and Chris Potter finished first and second. Since then, his reputation as composer and arranger has steadily grown, and he even had the chance to curate of the IN/TER\SECT Festival at Bryant Park this past summer.
Podcast 556 is my conversation with Patrick, as he tells the tale of Shores Against Silence, as well as relates playing with the likes of Ben Monder and Joshua Redman. Musical selections include “The Paw”, "Athena" and "Three Dreams of Repose."