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Tim Berne - Snakeoil

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Only if he's playing bass clarinet.

This is getting some heavy spins here in paradise. I plan on listening to it again this afternoon.

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This definitely sparks my interest. Now I must hear Berne when he plays in Seattle later this week. It sounds like the ECM CD is just a glossy shadow of what the band does live.

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I was at the same Washington gig Leeway was at, and it was a good 'un. I was there with my barely-jazz-tolerant brother and even he liked it. I missed the second set though, which I now regret.

Edited by Hoppy T. Frog

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I'm sure it's a bad idea to respond  to this thread  but I'm annoyed that some people think I'm lying when I suggest that I have had an incredibly positive experience working with ECM/Eicher on David Torn's record, 2 Michael Formanek discs and now my own.

I've been aquainted with Eicher for some time and some of the first records I listened to were ECM records which incidentally is an independent label.To be on a label that recorded Paul Bley,Keith Jarrett ,Paul Motian etc. Is a big deal to me.

To imply that I would put out  a recording that I don't  stand behind is ludicrous.

As on my screwgun productions I chose the material, I was at the mix and I chose the takes.

The fact that Matt Mitchell was allowed to choose the piano at Steinway and to be able to record in a great studio with James Farber engineering seems to indicate that the label has a lot of respect for what we are doing and I see this a positive thing I guess.

Getting paid to record is also a sign of respect and I would assume that Leeway also enjoys being paid for his work.

Working with a man who has produced over a 1000 jazz and classical records...also good.

Being on a label that is passionate about the music we make and helps us tour...love that too.

Asked for my input on a cover image...not bad as well.

I could go on here but I just wanted to speak for myself  and state for the record that I LOVE  this record and how it sounds and I love this band.

Tim Berne

Edited by burro

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Welcome Tim! Thanks for the input!

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It's such a miserable day in Eugene today the visiting musician has taken to responding to jazz board criticism. I love this album - it just keeps getting played. The frequency of wanting to play it almost reminds me of getting a great album purchased with chore money as a teen, where that was it for a few weeks and you immersed yourself in it. Looking forward to tonight!

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I'm sure it's a bad idea to respond  to this thread  but I'm annoyed that some people think I'm lying when I suggest that I have had an incredibly positive experience working with ECM/Eicher on David Torn's record, 2 Michael Formanek discs and now my own.

Tim Berne

I swear, it's absolutely the first time that any of us have engaged in annoying speculation in these forums. Really! It's never happened before....

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I'm sure it's a bad idea to respond  to this thread  but I'm annoyed that some people think I'm lying when I suggest that I have had an incredibly positive experience working with ECM/Eicher on David Torn's record, 2 Michael Formanek discs and now my own.

I've been aquainted with Eicher for some time and some of the first records I listened to were ECM records which incidentally an independent label.To be on a label that recorded Paul Bley,Keith Jarrett ,Paul Motian etc. Is a big deal to me.

To imply that I would put out  a recording that I don't  stand behind is ludicrous.

As on my screwgun productions I chose the material, I was at the mix and I chose the takes.

The fact that Matt Mitchell was allowed to choose the piano at Steinway and to be able to record in a great studio with James Farber engineering seems to indicate that the label has a lot of respect for what we are doing and I see this a positive thing I guess.

Getting paid to record is also a sign of respect and I would assume that Leeway also enjoys being paid for his work.

Working with a man who has produced over a 1000 jazz and classical records...also good.

Being on a label that is passionate about the music we make and helps us tour...love that too.

Asked for my input on a cover image...not bad as well.

I could go on here but I just wanted to speak for myself  and state for the record that I LOVE  this record and how it sounds and I love this band.

Tim Berne

Thank you so much for this post. There is endless bashing of all things ECM; it's nice to read something positive about the label for once!

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I'm sure it's a bad idea to respond  to this thread  but I'm annoyed that some people think I'm lying when I suggest that I have had an incredibly positive experience working with ECM/Eicher on David Torn's record, 2 Michael Formanek discs and now my own.

I've been aquainted with Eicher for some time and some of the first records I listened to were ECM records which incidentally an independent label.To be on a label that recorded Paul Bley,Keith Jarrett ,Paul Motian etc. Is a big deal to me.

To imply that I would put out  a recording that I don't  stand behind is ludicrous.

As on my screwgun productions I chose the material, I was at the mix and I chose the takes.

The fact that Matt Mitchell was allowed to choose the piano at Steinway and to be able to record in a great studio with James Farber engineering seems to indicate that the label has a lot of respect for what we are doing and I see this a positive thing I guess.

Getting paid to record is also a sign of respect and I would assume that Leeway also enjoys being paid for his work.

Working with a man who has produced over a 1000 jazz and classical records...also good.

Being on a label that is passionate about the music we make and helps us tour...love that too.

Asked for my input on a cover image...not bad as well.

I could go on here but I just wanted to speak for myself  and state for the record that I LOVE  this record and how it sounds and I love this band.

Tim Berne

Thanks for clarifying, Tim. And for possibly putting a sock in the mouths of all the idiots out there who think they know something about ECM.

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Welcome to the board Tim. I enjoy your music!! Please stick around!

:tophat:

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Tim, come back to Syracuse and play a gig. We need some good live music here. Congrats on the ECM release! Sounds like being ECMed means getting treated with respect and being paid a living wage.

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It's such a miserable day in Eugene today the visiting musician has taken to responding to jazz board criticism. I love this album - it just keeps getting played. The frequency of wanting to play it almost reminds me of getting a great album purchased with chore money as a teen, where that was it for a few weeks and you immersed yourself in it. Looking forward to tonight!

Nice

Tim, come back to Syracuse and play a gig. We need some good live music here. Congrats on the ECM release! Sounds like being ECMed means getting treated with respect and being paid a living wage.

Tim, come back to Syracuse and play a gig. We need some good live music here. Congrats on the ECM release! Sounds like being ECMed means getting treated with respect and being paid a living wage.

Never played there...t

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That's a shame, but not surprising. There's virtually no jazz scene here.

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I'm glad that Time Berne got to record for ECM and got paid for it. I'm also glad that some other musicians whose music I enjoy were recorded (and I assume paid) by ECM.

That doesn't change my opinion about much of what ECM has recorded and the ECM "sound".

As a musician trying to create and, at the same time, earn a living, Tim Berne is coming from a different place than I am as a listener. I respect what he has to say and I hope that he makes big $ with this recording. As a listener, I'm just not all that taken by much of what ECM has issued.

I think that some of the ECM fans on the board should step back and realize that other opinions about ECM should be tolerated.

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Hi Paul,

I was actually referring to myself and my experience....just don't feel comfortable with others presuming to know what I was thinking or intending with this recording.

Making big money isn't what I was implying....more like getting paid like anyone else who has a job.

I just feel like there has been a lot of discussion about me making an ECM record as if the only way I can remain valid is to subsidize my own recordings and apparently not make any more studio recordings which would be the result.

Selfishly speaking that would be a bummer.

I love working on my own productions but in this day and age it's pretty tough to do unfortunately.

Screwgun is basically dormant because very few people want to pay for music anymore.

Anyway,this is just my very small 2 cents for what it's worth.

Tim

Edited by burro

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I think that some of the ECM fans on the board should step back and realize that other opinions about ECM should be tolerated.

But calling the motives of Eicher pernicious is going overboard. He's the producer, and he hears things a certain way. If it's not to someone's taste that's fine, but seeing it as pernicious is a pretty mean spirited criticism.

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Hi Paul,

I was actually referring to myself and my experience....just don't feel comfortable with others presuming to know what I was thinking or intending with this recording.

Making big money isn't what I was implying....more like getting paid like anyone else who has a job.

I just feel like there has been a lot of discussion about me making an ECM record as if the only way I can remain valid is to subsidize my own recordings and apparently not make any more studio recordings which would be the result.

Selfishly speaking that would be a bummer.

I love working on my own productions but in this day and age it's pretty tough to do unfortunately.

Screwgun is basically dormant because very few people want to pay for music anymore.

Anyway,this is just my very small 2 cents for what it's worth.

Tim

Hello Tim,

Welcome to Organissimo.

I hear what you're saying. You may not make big money from Snakeoil - though I hope you do.

I hope I made it clear that I'm happy that musicians are paid for their recordings on ECM - not just those I enjoy listening to, but any musicians. And I'm happy for any exposure their music receives. (I have a good friend who's a working musician and I know from what he's told me how rough things can be, especially these days.)

I should have posted my comments/feelings about ECM in general in another thread. This thread is about your new recording and I apologize for intruding on any attention you and it should be receiving.

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Unfortunately in Eugene Mr. Berne got squeezed by a traveling company of Beauty & The Beast the night he played and Benny Golson is in town tonight. Talking to the nearest person in the front row (there were 3 of us - the small crowd was spread out all over the place like they were afraid of bird flu) he noted he knew a few people who could only choose one (because of baby sitting and such) and they chose Benny "because he's 80." I'm not sure but I think Late was on far end of the front row just judging by the intelligent way this person was speaking about Jackie McLean & Woody Shaw. Just a guess mind you, maybe I'm underestimating this town. (Pardon my eavesdropping, but it's not like there was the din of the crowd to drown you out. Not that you were loud, my dog ear hearing kicked in when I heard "Jackie.") ;)

I hope this band continues to be able to record on whatever label they desire and tour. It just all fits together so well. Just to single out one member Ches Smith creates such a diverse assortment of sounds with his assorted percussion in addition to vibes and "regular" drumming. He did this thing with handle end a mallet on (I guess) the metal rim of his drumhead that on its own I wouldn't imagine as a sound that would be something one would seek out, but wow, it brought it all home. Ugh, I'll stop now before I use more cliches as I can't write about music worth a damn, but Seattle & Portland area board members make an effort to see them tonight & tomorrow respectively. And head's up Europe, they touch down in London on March 14 and the continent on the 16th. Tour dates here (music will play if you're at work not working.)

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It's such a miserable day in Eugene today the visiting musician has taken to responding to jazz board criticism. I love this album - it just keeps getting played. The frequency of wanting to play it almost reminds me of getting a great album purchased with chore money as a teen, where that was it for a few weeks and you immersed yourself in it. Looking forward to tonight!

Quincy, that's a great way to put it!

It's been a long time since I have played an album so often over a two week period.

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Great to hear Tim Berne's own views here - welcome Tim! (....and on a thread I started!!)

I'm more than ready to welcome this band to London, as I suspect are a number of the city's fans - there's usually been a packed house when TB and band have played at the Vortex over a number of years.

The album will be worn out by the time I hear it live, it's that good.

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I am enjoying Snakeoil. I thought I would miss the bass, but I don't.

Speaking of no bass. Has Berne ever talked about the reason he doesn't use a bass player?

His music is pretty busy.

Doesn't Noriega cover the low end in this band?

Only if he's playing bass clarinet.

This is getting some heavy spins here in paradise. I plan on listening to it again this afternoon.

Also pointing out the piano player has a left hand.

Thanks for your comments Tim Berne. I was told a few hours ago (by Bruce) that Downtown Music Gallery in NYC has all the Screwgun releases in stock.

Still enjoying the Snakeoil album, looking forward to checking out a bunch of Screwgun releases soon.

Edited by 7/4

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Tim, thanks for taking the time to offer your thoughts on this board.

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The Snakeoil band played a marvelous set in Seattle this week. The interplay between Noriega and Berne was especially stimulating. I look forward to hearing the album.

It's really good that Tim Berne chose to speak up here about Manfred Eicher. His production style is quite distinctive and there are times when he flattens the music too much for my taste. He does seem to nudge artists in a certain direction, which is better for some than for others. But I think this results from Eicher's personal tastes, not from a desire to make commercially successful recordings. And he has produced many uniquely wonderful recordings.

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So I finally got around to writing a review. As a long-time Tim Berne fan, I looked forward to hearing this new line-up. I enjoyed Oscar Noriega's Luciano's Dream from several years back, and I've also liked what Craig Taborn has brought to Berne's music, so I wanted to hear Matt Mitchell's contribution. Listening to Snakeoil is an adjustment when compared to his previous work, but it's rewarding, and can be viewed as a maturation of his approach. There's more subtlety, more shading, helped in large part by Mitchell as well as Noriega's clarinet textures. Whereas Bloodcount and Paraphrase were about building sustained tension with little release, Berne's compositions here are more varied and episodic.

This is not a perfect record; there are spots where the thread gets lost and my attention wanders, but overall it's a great addition to his body of work. Between Snakeoil and his guest role on Simon Fell's wonderful large group work, Positions and Descriptions, we may be witnessing a fruitful new stage in Tim Berne's career.

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I heard the band play an all new set, the next album in NYC two weeks ago at the Greenwich House Music.

Two longish compositions...the drummer is also playing the melodies on vibes along with the band now. He's also playing more percussion, bongos(!), small gongs too. Matt Mitchell and Oscar Noriega are stars on the rise. :)

I'm looking forward to a new album when it comes out someday. I love the new sound with the vibes.

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