- Berne on alto,
- Craig Taborn on keyboards and sci-fi, and
- Tom Rainey on drums.
Friday, February 10, 2012
The Energy & Ecstasy of Tim Berne
Tim Berne's great double album, The Sublime and Science Fiction Live, is one of those pieces of music that sat on my iPod for a long time before I managed to listen to all of it. I just couldn't quite hear it. Mr. Berne ought not to consider that an insult. The same thing happened when I first listened to Brahms' First Piano Concerto, a piece of music I later came to deeply love.
I am not calling Berne Brahms just yet, but there is definitely a modern classical element to his compositions. A lot of his music earns the Science Friction title, as if a bebop box set had been captured and dissected by an extra-terrestrial quartet. Okay, but there's power in that there saucer.
I have been playing 'The Shell Game' from the above named recording, and right now it is sporting a five star approval. Here is the lineup from Discogs:
I shelled out for another Berne Album, The Shell Game. Amazon is only charging about four bucks for it. I note that Matthew Ship is listed as a producer. Here is the trio:
Wow do I like that number. Like a lot of Berne's music, it reminds me of Ken Vandermark and especially of the DKV Trio recordings. It is avant garde in structure, a linear melody line that never quite closes. But it builds in emotional intensity the way the best DKV compositions do: contradicting the commonplace that what goes up must come down. This album is superb. Buy it. I did.
Jason Crane has an interview with Tim Berne on his marvelous podcast show The Jazz Session. I haven't listened to it yet, but that's on the agenda for this weekend. I find myself enjoying an embarrassment of riches where jazz is concerned. Check out Jason's page. Tell'im Blanchard sent ya.