198

Tim Berne: The Sublime and...

Farrell Lowe By

Sign in to view read count
From the opening salvo of "Van Gundy's Retreat," it's obvious that Tim Berne's Science Friction ensemble will take no prisoners during this performance, recorded live in Switzerland on April 12th, 2003. Along with his alto saxophone, Berne's group consists of electric guitar, Fender Rhodes-fueled electronics, and drums. This instrumental configuration opens up worlds of new and old possibilities simultaneously. The individuals who comprise the ensemble can collectively hold the compositional ideas of each piece together while a player deconstructs the threads that hold things together. This makes for a very interesting and organic music process where composition both exists and non-exists concurrently.

This double disc documents one of the finest examples of the current creative hurdle of incorporating traditional elements of jazz (i.e. solos, harmony, swing, and form) with more recent directions in music in the form of electronica. Craig Taborn's conception and integration of laptop electronics combined with the more traditional Fender Rhodes sound is creative and damn inspiring. He and guitarist Ducret share the ability to create harmonies for the band that serve as a solid foundation for others' improvisation, while being ghostly and ephemeral at the same time. Ducret's guitar playing is exciting and raw as he uncovers personal ways to approach the instrument both as a soloist and as a member of a tight ensemble.

Tim Berne continues to expand and develop his oeuvre and mature as an artist. The integration of his angular melodic style fits flawlessly within the context of this ensemble's voice. It's interesting how producer David Torn has handled the alto horn in this context as well, discovering subtle ways to help blend Berne's tart tone into the overall group sound. Berne has written some tough, tricky music and has put together a band that can put fire and soul into the forms he's created, in the process transforming those forms into beautiful modern music.

Highly recommended to modern jazz fans, especially those interested in exploring new ways of developing ensemble relationships.

Visit the troublemakers on the web at www.screwgunrecords.com .


Track Listing: 1. Van Gundy's Retreat (Berne) - 10:43 2. The Shell Game (Berne) - 23:59 3. Mrs. Subliminal/Clownfinger (Berne) - 30:18 4. Smallfry (Berne/Taborn) - 6:17 5. Jalape

Personnel: Tim Berne - Alto Sax; Marc Ducret - Electric Guitar; Tom Rainey - Drums; Craig Taborn - Organ, Keyboards, Fender Rhodes.

Title: The Sublime and... | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Bloodroot" CD/LP/Track Review Bloodroot
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Beyond The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Beyond The Moon
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Pletter På Solen" CD/LP/Track Review Pletter På Solen
by Nick Davies
Published: June 30, 2017
Read "Tilt" CD/LP/Track Review Tilt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "Hybrido - From Rio To Wayne Shorter" CD/LP/Track Review Hybrido - From Rio To Wayne Shorter
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Zentuary" CD/LP/Track Review Zentuary
by John Kelman
Published: December 25, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.