Twelve Sacred Dances
The world of free jazz-free improvised music includes a lot of territory, from chordless bop to textural soundscaping to deconstructionist posing, but it is still unusual to hear an artist stake out an area that seems completely unlike something you've heard before. Zimmerli does this by an original synthesis that draws on general elements of mid-century serial music without worrying with the impossibly demanding structures of the post-Webernites. He uses the most attractive aspects of the modernists' work-freely atonal melody and the concern with space and color-very effectively, and his group's creation is much easier to approach than people like Boulez. Pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and percussionist (in the broadest sense) John Hollenbeck are very impressive players, and Zimmerli has found his own way to add to the post-Coltrane tenor lexicon. At a time when real originality is rare, Zimmerli is a boy to watch.