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Tim Berne - Snakeoil

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It's been mentioned in passing in another thread so let's give it free rein here.

Well, I for one, am intrigued to hear this new Berne disc. I tend to investigate most of his releases and will be getting this soon, I hope. I'm anticipating something good from the interplay between Berne and Noriega in particular. As I understand things Berne's been prepping this line-up live fro some time as Los Topopos (sp?). Anyone seen them?

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and in London on March 14th. warm them up for us, Clifford

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As indicated in the ECM Parker/Mitchell thread I picked a copy in Fopp today, played through once and I was impressed but really need to give it more careful consideration over the next few days. I've seen Berne once but have only one other CD , so I'm no aficionado .

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I need to order this too as I liked the sample that was linked to in the ECM thread. He's playing in Eugene at the end of Feb. and I intend to go. I enjoyed Berne's playing with Formanek when they played here last summer. It seems this town is in a bit of drought for jazz shows lately, though I understand we're off the beaten path and have a reputation for being a bunch of cheapskates (except for coffee, beer & Ducks gear). :lol:

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Berne will be in the DC/Baltimore area in February. I'm trying to see him once in each location if I can. I've seen Berne maybe 4 or 5 times, and have probably about 15+ Berne albums. So I guess I'm a fan. The new disc sounds great (based on the clip); hope to pick up a copy at one of the nearby Berne shows. I don't get tired of Berne's music. It has staying power. He's not a great musician (as in virtuoso), but he has great musical intelligence and an ability to put together whole musical concepts.

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I'd agree with that analysis, Leeway.

I've seen Berne maybe 10+ times (he seems to use London's Vortex as a regular pit stop) and have about 20 albums so count me as a fan. He does have a very distinctive musical signature and always presents thought-provoking combinations of players in his bands. What inttrigues me about Snakeoil is the return to a dual horn (albeit clarinets) frontline and also the lack of a drummer for what, I hear, as a very rhythmic writer (other drummer-less bands have had a piano IIRC). So it's a new palette for his writing - looking forward to what he makes of it

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Still waiting for mine. There are clips of Los Totopos on youtube. I believe. But I would never access content for which rights holders had not been fully compensated. Let alone bootlegs. No way. The internet may be your friend but it is not mine. No sir.

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I'd agree with that analysis, Leeway.

I've seen Berne maybe 10+ times (he seems to use London's Vortex as a regular pit stop) and have about 20 albums so count me as a fan. He does have a very distinctive musical signature and always presents thought-provoking combinations of players in his bands. What inttrigues me about Snakeoil is the return to a dual horn (albeit clarinets) frontline and also the lack of a drummer for what, I hear, as a very rhythmic writer (other drummer-less bands have had a piano IIRC). So it's a new palette for his writing - looking forward to what he makes of it

there is a drummer on Snakeoil , it's alto/clarinet/piano/drums

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Arrived. Slightly soft-grained mix (ahem). Slightly contemplative beginning (ahem). Some very interesting passagework (phew).

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Arrived. Slightly soft-grained mix (ahem). Slightly contemplative beginning (ahem). Some very interesting passagework (phew).

Are you trying to feed the flames???

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I'd agree with that analysis, Leeway.

I've seen Berne maybe 10+ times (he seems to use London's Vortex as a regular pit stop) and have about 20 albums so count me as a fan. He does have a very distinctive musical signature and always presents thought-provoking combinations of players in his bands. What inttrigues me about Snakeoil is the return to a dual horn (albeit clarinets) frontline and also the lack of a drummer for what, I hear, as a very rhythmic writer (other drummer-less bands have had a piano IIRC). So it's a new palette for his writing - looking forward to what he makes of it

there is a drummer on Snakeoil , it's alto/clarinet/piano/drums

Yeah, it's Ches Smith, who is a really interesting player.

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Arrived. Slightly soft-grained mix (ahem). Slightly contemplative beginning (ahem). Some very interesting passagework (phew).

Are you trying to feed the flames???

Yes. Some great music on this disk though - much of it is about collective counterpoint, sometimes with the sax in a rhythm role. Long and hypnotic melodies.

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Clifford, thanks for the mention of the Austin gig; I had no idea. Where did you find out? Now I've got to convince the wife to make a road trip...

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Arrived. Slightly soft-grained mix (ahem). Slightly contemplative beginning (ahem). Some very interesting passagework (phew).

Are you trying to feed the flames???

Yes. Some great music on this disk though - much of it is about collective counterpoint, sometimes with the sax in a rhythm role. Long and hypnotic melodies.

Given the direction the other thread took (and your complaints about it), I have to say that I'm flabbergasted that this would be your desire.

I've been a huge fan of Berne's for years. I have probably about 99% of the discs he appears on. I have no doubt that the music contained on this upcoming disc will hold at least some interest for me. That being said, I almost always have to be in the "right" mood to listen to his stuff.

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Clifford, thanks for the mention of the Austin gig; I had no idea. Where did you find out? Now I've got to convince the wife to make a road trip...

Link here. It will be at the KUT Cactus Cafe on the UT campus and Epistrophy Arts will be presenting.

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Arrived. Slightly soft-grained mix (ahem). Slightly contemplative beginning (ahem). Some very interesting passagework (phew).

Are you trying to feed the flames???

Yes. Some great music on this disk though - much of it is about collective counterpoint, sometimes with the sax in a rhythm role. Long and hypnotic melodies.

Given the direction the other thread took (and your complaints about it), I have to say that I'm flabbergasted that this would be your desire.

I've been a huge fan of Berne's for years. I have probably about 99% of the discs he appears on. I have no doubt that the music contained on this upcoming disc will hold at least some interest for me. That being said, I almost always have to be in the "right" mood to listen to his stuff.

No I was teasing. I am on the second time through now. It's a fantastic disc in terms of the group counterpoint, the whole group feeling, a real labour of love. All really well played-in. I should think he's delighted with it.

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Arrived. Slightly soft-grained mix (ahem). Slightly contemplative beginning (ahem). Some very interesting passagework (phew).

Are you trying to feed the flames???

Yes. Some great music on this disk though - much of it is about collective counterpoint, sometimes with the sax in a rhythm role. Long and hypnotic melodies.

Given the direction the other thread took (and your complaints about it), I have to say that I'm flabbergasted that this would be your desire.

I've been a huge fan of Berne's for years. I have probably about 99% of the discs he appears on. I have no doubt that the music contained on this upcoming disc will hold at least some interest for me. That being said, I almost always have to be in the "right" mood to listen to his stuff.

No I was teasing. I am on the second time through now. It's a fantastic disc in terms of the group counterpoint, the whole group feeling, a real labour of love. All really well played-in. I should think he's delighted with it.

Glad to hear it!

I've spoken to Tim on the phone (to place orders for his Screwgun discs --- he lives local to me in Brooklyn), and believe me --- he's never delighted about anything :)

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Here are the tour dates mentioned in the press release.

Feb 16th Boston, MA Regattabar

Feb 17th New York, NY Rubin Museum

Feb 18th Baltimore, MD An die Musik live!

Feb 19th Washington DC Bohemian caverns

Feb 24th Austin, TX Cactus Cafe on the UT Campus

Feb 25th Los Angeles,CA Blue Whale

Feb 27th Santa Cruz, CA Kuumbwa

Feb 28th Oakland, CA Yoshi’s

Feb 29th Eugene,OR The Shedd

March 1st Seattle, WA Seattle Asian Art Museum

March 2nd Portland, OR Alberta Rose Theater

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I'd agree with that analysis, Leeway.

I've seen Berne maybe 10+ times (he seems to use London's Vortex as a regular pit stop) and have about 20 albums so count me as a fan. He does have a very distinctive musical signature and always presents thought-provoking combinations of players in his bands. What inttrigues me about Snakeoil is the return to a dual horn (albeit clarinets) frontline and also the lack of a drummer for what, I hear, as a very rhythmic writer (other drummer-less bands have had a piano IIRC). So it's a new palette for his writing - looking forward to what he makes of it

there is a drummer on Snakeoil , it's alto/clarinet/piano/drums

oops. must pay greater attention. Still intrigued but for different reasons now ....

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I'd agree with that analysis, Leeway.

I've seen Berne maybe 10+ times (he seems to use London's Vortex as a regular pit stop) and have about 20 albums so count me as a fan. He does have a very distinctive musical signature and always presents thought-provoking combinations of players in his bands. What inttrigues me about Snakeoil is the return to a dual horn (albeit clarinets) frontline and also the lack of a drummer for what, I hear, as a very rhythmic writer (other drummer-less bands have had a piano IIRC). So it's a new palette for his writing - looking forward to what he makes of it

there is a drummer on Snakeoil , it's alto/clarinet/piano/drums

oops. must pay greater attention. Still intrigued but for different reasons now ....

Get over to youtube and search for los totopos!

And tell that Ches Smith to get his foot off the snare and put his shoe back on. Where do they teach technique like that!

Maybe he's angling for a solo gig at Oto... ;)

Edited by David Ayers

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As indicated in the ECM Parker/Mitchell thread I picked a copy in Fopp today, played through once and I was impressed but really need to give it more careful consideration over the next few days. I've seen Berne once but have only one other CD , so I'm no aficionado .

I've spun Snakeoil several times through and really like it. My only other Berne is Pre-emptive denial - Screwgun. I'd hardly played until the last few days it but it too is excellent and makes me wonder why I've ignored Berne's output.

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As indicated in the ECM Parker/Mitchell thread I picked a copy in Fopp today, played through once and I was impressed but really need to give it more careful consideration over the next few days. I've seen Berne once but have only one other CD , so I'm no aficionado .

I've spun Snakeoil several times through and really like it. My only other Berne is Pre-emptive denial - Screwgun. I'd hardly played until the last few days it but it too is excellent and makes me wonder why I've ignored Berne's output.

I bought his early albums on Soul Note a long time ago. I thought they weren't that fully realized and never really continued. Then just recently I listened to a couple with his band with Taborn and enjoyed his ability to fashion long lines and make sense over very long arcs of time. I revisited the Soul Notes and found the same thing there, though they were, as I thought, not quite there yet. So now I'm with you on that and with this new one he is rising up my personal charts.

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