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Patrick Zimmerli and Octurn: The Book of Hours

The Book of Hours is a seven-movement suite composed by Patrick Zimmerli for the 10-piece Belgian ensemble Octurn. The suite is based on the medieval monastic tradition “wherein a different prayer was recited at each of seven different times of day.” Jazz, it would seem, has spread its reach far from its origins in the whorehouses of New Orleans.

Zimmerli is interested in exploring the demilitarized zone between contemporary classical music and jazz. Baritone saxophonist Bo Van der Werf leads Octurn, which contains four horns (with Zimmerli added on soprano saxophone) and a “double rhythm section” of piano/guitar, two electric bassists and two drummers. What these musicians create together, from “Dawn” through the segments of the day ending in “Night” and “Sleep,” is a unified work of extraordinary structural precision, executed with impeccable craftsmanship.

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