Tim Berne
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Five Year Plan (1979), 5.5/10
7X (1980), 5.5/10
Spectres (1981), 5.5/10
Songs And Rituals In Real Time (1982), 7/10
The Ancestors (1983), 6/10
Mutant Variations (1984), 6/10
Theoretically (1985), 6/10
Fulton Street Maul (1987), 7/10
Sanctified Dreams (1987), 7/10
Miniature: Miniature (1988), 5/10
Fractured Fairy Tales (1989), 8/10
Caos Totale: Pace Yourself (1991), 7/10
Miniature: I Can't Put My Finger On It (1991), 7/10
Loose Cannon (1993), 5.5/10
Diminutive Mysteries (1993), 5/10
Caos Totale: Nice View (1994), 7/10
Bloodcount: Lowlife (1994), 5.5/10
Bloodcount: Poisoned Minds (1994), 5.5/10
Bloodcount: Memory Select (1995), 5.5/10
Bloodcount: Unwound (Screwgun, 1997), 5/10
Bloodcount: Discretion (Screwgun, 1997), 5/10
Bloodcount: Saturation Point (1997), 5/10
Big Satan (1997), 5/10
Paraphrase: Visitation Rites (1997), 5/10
Ornery People (1998), 5/10
Cause & Reflect (1998), 5.5/10
Melquiades (1999), 5/10
Ellissi (1999), 5/10
Paraphrase: Please Advise (1999), 5.5/10
Auto da Fe (2002), 5/10
The Shell Game (2002), 7/10
The Sevens (2002), 7/10
Science Friction (2002), 7/10
Open Coma (2002), 5.5/10
Science Friction Band: The Sublime And (2003), 6/10
Big Satan: Souls Saved Hear (2004), 5.5/10
The Veil , 6.5/10

New York-based alto saxophonist Tim Berne (1954) coined a neurotic language that mixed composition and improvisation. His wittily iconoclastic style, that toyed with counterpoint like in a marriage of cool jazz's rationality and free jazz's effervescence, matured via Five Year Plan (april 1979), containing NYC Rites for a sax-bass-drums trio augmented with clarinetist John Carter, baritone saxophonist Vinny Golia and a trombonist, 7X (january 1980), containing Showtime for alto, baritone (Golia), guitar (Nels Cline), bass, trombone and percussion, and Spectres (february 1981), containing For Charles Mingus with cornetist Olu Dara, trombone, bass and percussion.
The live double-LP Songs And Rituals In Real Time (july 1981), in a quartet with tenor saxophonist Mack Goldsbury, bassist Ed Schuller and drummer Paul Motian, sounded like a compromise between melodic tunesmith and ceremonial music. The linguistic nonsense of The Unknown Factor, the cubistic game of decomposition and recomposition of The Mutant of Alberan and especially the 25-minute The Ancient Ones, that achieved a delicate balance of the lyrical and the expressionistic in music, relying on showers and rainbows of chromatic interplay, revealed Berne's unique compositional genius.
The sextet with trumpet (Herb Robertson), trombone (Ray Anderson), tenor saxophone (Goldsbury), bass (Schuller) and drums (Motian) documented on The Ancestors (february 1983), with the uncontrollable variations of the 34-minute two-part Shirley's Song, and pared down to a quartet without trombone or tenor on Mutant Variations (march 1983), brought Berne closer to the jazz tradition while continuing to invest on his compositional ideas. The atonal duets with guitarist Bill Frisell of Theoretically (september 1983), notably the horror cosmic music of 2001, abandoned any pretense of jazz form.
Acrobatic pieces such as The Ancient Ones, Shirley's Song and 2011 were the preludes to the captivating balance of complex structure and anarchic solos achieved on Fulton Street Maul (august 1986), featuring Hank Roberts on cello, Bill Frisell on electric guitar and Alex Cline on percussion, a pastiche of pieces that could be both wildly dissonant (Icicles Revisited), melancholy romantic (Betsy) and frantically tribal (Federico).
Berne's musical chaos increased on Sanctified Dreams (october 1987), for a sax-trumpet-cello quintet (cellist Hank Roberts, trumpeter Herb Robertson, bassist Mark Dresser, drummer Joey Baron), with almost clownish (but always intricate) revisitations of the jazz tradition (Mag's Groove); and reached a zenith on Fractured Fairy Tales (june 1989), that added violin (Mark Feldmann) and electronics (played by Baron) to the quintet. The dissonant chamber jazz of Evolution Of A Pearl bridged Frank Zappa's madcap stylistic soups and the classical avantgarde's studies on timbre and texture.
Berne then proceeded to apply the same twisted and schizophrenic logic to different combinations of musicians and styles.
Miniature, i.e. the trio of Berne, Baron and Roberts, used "electronic processing" and veered towards futuristic ethno-jazz-funk music on Miniature (march 1988) and I Can't Put My Finger On It (january 1991);
Caos Totale, a sextet including Robertson, Dresser, trombonist Steve Swell, drummer Bobby Previte and guitarist Marc Ducret, continued the progression towards lengthy and convoluted compositions such as Legend of P1 on Pace Yourself (november 1990) and the imposing triad of Nice View (august 1993), that added keyboardist Django Bates: It Could Have Been A Lot Worse (21:15), The Third Rail (17:32), Impacted Wisdom (38:03).
Berne switched to baritone sax for Loose Cannon (october 1992), a trio with bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Jeff Hirshfield that penned the 16-minute Fibrigade.
The live Lowlife (september 1994), with the monoliths Bloodcount and The Brown Dog Meets The Spaceman, was, de facto, the first document of Bloodcount, a band featuring Ducret, Formanek, reed player Chris Speed, drummer Jim Black, and devoted to colossal live jams such as the 51-minute Eye Contact, off Memory Select (september 1994).

The live Visitation Rites (1996), whose highlight is the 30-minute Piano Justice, debuted Paraphrase, a more conventional sax-bass-drums trio also devoted to endless live jams.
After many mediocre live albums, Berne returned to studio recording with the ambitious Open Coma (july 2000) for big band, that revisited three of his masterpieces, with The Shell Game (february 2001), in a trio with percussionist Tom Rainey and electronic keyboardist Craig Taborn, containing the 30-minute Thin Ice, That trio added Ducret and became the Science Friction Band (a sax-guitar-keyboards-drums quartet), a project that harked back to Berne's cartoonish phase, thus closing the loop.

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Alto sassofonista bianco di New York, discepolo di Julius Hemphill, Tim Berne (1954) e' progredito da un'improvvisazione jazz piuttosto convenzionale a un suono che fa uso massiccio delle apparecchiature di registrazione. Dopo i primi album, Five Year Plan (april 1979), containing NYC Rites for a sax-bass-drums trio augmented with clarinetist John Carter, baritone saxophonist Vinny Golia and a trombonist, 7X (january 1980), containing Showtime for alto, baritone (Golia), guitar (Nels Cline), bass, trombone and percussion, e Spectres (february 1981), containing For Charles Mingus with cornetist Olu Dara, trombone, bass and percussion, prime avvisaglie del suo stile iconoclasta furono brani come Shirley's Song, il primo capolavoro, su The Ancestors (Soul Note, 1983) per sestetto, in due parti (13 e 21 minuti) che poi si lancia in una serie straordinaria di variazioni a rotta di collo, An Evening On Marvin St e The Tin Ear, su Mutant Variations (Soul Note, 1984) per quartetto.

Berne, sotto l'influenza dell'Art Ensemble Of Chicago, si esibisce in un tour de force spettacolare sul doppio dal vivo Songs And Rituals In Real Time (Empire, 1982), con Paul Motian alle percussioni, Ed Schuller al basso e Mack Goldsbury all'altro sassofono. Il titolo fa riferimento al loro stile di improvvisazione, che scaturisce da un lato da una felice vena compositiva, capace di cesellare bei temi melodici, e dall'altro da una propensione per le atmosfere cerimoniali della musica primitiva. Cosi' il tema di San Antonio sembra accompagnare una funerea processione, con i sassofoni che intercalano fraseggi tipicamente jazz ad accenti latino americani e a scale di derivazione orientale; e la lunga The Ancient Ones stravolge gli accenti lirici di una canzone elegiaca fino a farne un grido alto e forte, che poi si contrae nel ronzio supersonico di una preghiera mantrica. Ritornelli quasi infantili contrassegnano Roberto Miguel, peraltro detonata quasi subito in un pandemonio anarchico, Flies, la filastrocca piu' spregiudicata e sguaiata (con il sassofono ad imitare il trillo e le piroette di un insetto). Il trattamento riservato a queste melodie segue un processo di decomposizione e ricomposizione, come dimostrato in The Mutant Of Alberan, un brano che realizza l'analogo del cubismo in musica. Berne gigioneggia al sassofono, divertendosi in tutta una serie di nonsense linguistici, di scioglilingua strumentali, di puzzle paradossali. Il catalogo piu' ampio di travestimenti si trova forse in The Unknown Factor, fanfara polifonica a ritmo forsennato per la quale i sassofoni si scatenano in iterazioni minimaliste, in striduli effetti raga, in cicalecci nevrastenici, in lamenti arabici, in deliri cantabili. Il brano in cui invece e' piu' evidente l'influenza della tradizione e' New Dog Old Tricks, un bebop nevrotico. Il disco vale come summa della prima fase di Berne.

Il punto di rottura della sua carriera e' il disco Theoretically (Empire, 1985 - Minor Music, 1986), in coppia con la chitarra di Frisell, nel quale Berne compone acquarelli tenerissimi di musica inclassificabile: M alterna voli innamorati del sax a dimessi arpeggi della chitarra acustica, Inside The Brain e' musica da camera atonale di una drammaticita' quasi "schonberghiana", Ground Floor e' una stornellata folk dell'era nucleare, la lunga suite 2001 da' voce ai fantasmi interiori del sassofonista in un coacervo cosmico di suoni lugubri e dilatati solcato da improvvisi slanci di lirismo.

Fulton Street Maul (CBS, 1987), featuring Hank Roberts on cello, Bill Frisell on electric guitar and Alex Cline on percussion, reaches a captivating balance of complex structure and anarchic solos. The overture, Unknown Disaster, is tight and fragrant: massive doses of minimalist repetition wed acid distortion before the sax launches in a melodic theme (doubled by a cell that sounds like a second horn). An even more spectacular interplay of band playing and solo improvisation can be found in Miniature, an exuberant Frank Zappa-esque theme that is largely taken over by Frisell' atonal twang.
But Berne then shifts gear completely in the nine-minute Icicles Revisited, a piece of pensive, mournful and wildly dissonant chamber music. The instruments are suddenly strangers, hardly knowing each other, hardly acknowledging each other's gestures, and the saxophone becomes the protagonist of a demented and melancholy soliloquy. The noise grows in intensity and frenzy, propelled by an almost tribal beat, a pattern that one would expect from the Velvet Underground, not from a jazz quartet.
The nine-minute Federico seems to restart from that intuition: after warming up at the hypnotic buzz of the saxophone, the music picks up steam in a maelstrom of massive guitar distortion, tribal drumming and loud saxophone drones. Like a gigantic, pounding mantra to the universe, the effect is mesmerizing.
After such a burst of creative combustion, the final 12-minute piece, Betsy, is a calm, romantic elegy that disposes with the extreme elements of the previous compositions.
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La cerebralita' degli intenti e la vivacita' dell'esecuzione formano un contrasto che e' l'essenza stessa dell'arte di Berne. Berne si rivela anche talent scout acuto, raccogliendo attorno a se' una delle formazioni piu' ricche di temperamento del nuovo jazz: Joey Baron alla batteria, Herb Robertson alla tromba, Hank Roberts al violoncello, Mark Dresser al basso.

Sanctified Dreams (CBS, 1987) da' fuoco alle polveri della sua ispirazione: ogni brano e' un poutpurri di citazioni e di invenzioni sapientemente miscelate. Il suo quintetto (sassofono, tromba, violoncello e sezione ritmica) vi si rivela uno degli ensemble piu' originali (e caotici) del jazz moderno. Ogni "voce" sembra rivaleggiare con le altre per prevalere in un'esasperazione ipercinetica del concetto di contrappunto. Basta un pretesto minimo per scatenare il bailamme piu' forsennato: sul tema innocuo di Velcho Man il violoncello di Hank Roberts si lancia in un'indiavolata danza sufi a tempo di tam-tam che viene ripresa dal sax di Berne e tramutata in una filastrocca delirante; il violoncello di Roberts e le percussioni brasiliane di Joey Baron duettano nel jazz-rock atmosferico di Elastic Lad finche' i fiati non lanciano una delle loro festose sarabande senza capo ne' coda. Il tono e' prevalentemente comico, dalle dissonanze clownesche di Blue Alpha, fra le quali si fanno largo temi allucinati di swing e di classic blues, alle acrobazie del violoncello in Mag's Groove, un brano in cui il ronzio d'ape della tromba di Herb Robertson, le scale isteriche del sax di Berne rifanno il verso a dixieland, big band e bebop. A parte si situano le divagazioni esotiche e minimaliste di Terre Haute, gran finale stralunato del disco, che lascia intendere nuovi orizzonti in ambito world-beat.

Ancor piu' frammentario e concitato, il mosaico di Fractured Fairy Tales (Polygram, 1989), registrato con un sestetto di contrabbasso (Mark Dresser), sax, violino (Mark Feldmann), tromba (Herb Robertson), violoncello (Hank Roberts) e percussioni (Joey Baron) che e' tutto un programma) conferma la statura di Berne come compositore, arrangiatore e direttore d'orchestra. Nella caccia continua alla gag Berne si comporta come un Frank Zappa del post-bebop. La suite di venti minuti Evolution Of A Pearl e' infatti un cartone animato eroicomico che spazia dal blues alla musica concreta, dai cluster e continuum dell'avanguardia classica ad Ornette Coleman, sua nuova Musa ispiratrice. Dalle fanfare demenziali di Now Then al bandismo swing rocambolesco e clownesco di SEP, dal tema arioso e travolgente di Hong Kong Sad Song, presto devastato da un crescendo di assurdita' armoniche e di strepiti convulsi, al pantagruelico Telex Blues, con un'ouverture degna di Beefheart e una sezione etnica alla Hassell, il disco e' saturo di eclettismo folle e degenere, di questo umorismo grossolano e perverso, di questa vocazione al paradosso, di questo gigionesco esibizionismo, di questa caustica irriverenza. Imprevedibili e irrazionali, i brani si decompongono e ricompongono secondo algoritmi sempre piu' diabolici. Il suo marchio di fabbrica e' il caos creativo che fa detonare temi altrimenti innocui, con il violoncello appena pizzicato, la tromba in perenne deliquio, il violino che pigola lontano e su tutto il lamento infiammato del sax.

Berne ha formato anche i Miniature (JMT, 1988), un trio con Baron alla batteria e Roberts al violoncello, per i quali ha scritto Narlin, una delle sue tipiche filastrocche swinganti, Sanctuary, una delle sue arie vagamente arabiche, e la stessa Hong Kong Sad Song, trasformata in un mini-concerto dissonante. A dominare sono pero' i comprimari, con una sorta di jazz-funk etnico che si serve in modo subdolo delle linee melodiche del sassofono (Ethiopian Boxer di Roberts, Peanut di Baron) o con un audace bebop da camera quasi puntillista (Lonely Mood di Baron). Il ruolo di pari protagonisti conferito a quelli che sono abitualmente suoi gregari fa si' che il disco perda di personalita', pur guadagnandone in termini di sperimentalismo.

La progressione che ha portato dalla tragica 2001 alla comica Evolution Of A Pearl, passando per tappe degne del teatro dell'assurdo come Elastic Lad, Mag's Groove, Hong Kong Sad Song e Telex Blues, e' emblematica del percorso a ritroso compiuto dal jazz d'avanguardia negli anni '80, retrocesso dalle ardue elucubrazioni di Braxton al folklore panetnico e al jazz-rock da salotto.

La musica di Berne e' stratificata, nervosa e intricata, surreale e post-moderna, come forse mai il jazz lo era stato.

Pace Yourself (JMT, 1991) was recorded by Tim Berne's Caos Totale, a sextet with bassist Mark Dresser, trombonist Steve Swell, trumpet and flute player Herb Robertson, drummer Bobby Previte and guitarist Marc Ducret. The 10-minute Bass Voodoo opens with Berne's fractured, neurotic soloing within a rhythmic whirlwind, and then casually strolls into Caribbean, Dixieland, blues, etc territories before a stormy quarrel of the horns leads back to the melodic theme. But the rest of the album is quite different: much more restrained and pensive. The moody The Noose is mostly a showcase for the players (a lengthy drum solo, the usual saxophone acrobatics). Instead, the unusually subdued The Usual is a series of variations on a bluesy melody. Despite the effervescent beginning, amidst Jimi Hendrix-ian guitars and horn fanfares that mix marching bands and free-jazz. the 13-minute Sam's Dilemma is bluesy noir jazz at a slow, anemic pace. The 26-minute Legend of P1 begins with a flute chirping like a bird. The other instruments are slow to join the chorus, but slowly the music builds up to an ecstatic swing. However, the band is again attracted towards a black hom of languid blues music. It takes a while to resurface from that torpor, and launch into an intense saxophone-led bacchanal. The album is blessed with brilliant and upbeat playing. The sextet configuration, with wealthy horn passages, seems to enhance Berne's compositions. The

Miniature returned with I Can't Put My Finger On It (JMT, 1991), another reckless Zappa-esque collage of styles. The electronic soundscapes added a new dimension to the grotesque compositions, notably Tim Berne's 13-minute Combat and nine-minute Luna, and Hank Roberts' Bullfrog Breath and Weasels In The Bush.

Loose Cannon (october 1992 - Soul Note, 1993) was a trio with drummer Jeff Hirshfield and bassist Michael Formanek (and Berne mostly on baritone sax), performing mainly Berne compositions, particularly the ten-minute The 12.5% Solution and the 16-minute Fibrigade.

Diminutive Mysteries (JMT, 1993) was Berne, Joey Baron, David Sanborn, Marc Ducret and Hank Roberts performing Hemphill music.

Caos Totale (Ducret, Dresser, Swell, Robertson, Previte, keyboardist Django Bates) returned with Nice View (JMT, 1994), three long Berne compositions: It Could Have Been A Lot Worse (21:15), The Third Rail (17:32), Impacted Wisdom (38:03). This would remain his last major statement for a long time, as the quality of Berne's recordings deteriorated rapidly in the following years..

Lowlife (september 1994), with the monoliths Bloodcount and The Brown Dog Meets The Spaceman, the live Poisoned Minds (september 1994), containing just two colossal jams, The Other and What Are The Odds,

The live Memory Select (september 1994), with the 18-minute Jazzoff and the 51-minute Eye Contact, was the first document of Tim Berne's Bloodcount, a band featuring Ducret, Formanek, reed player Chris Speed, drummer Jim Black, and devoted to colossal live jams. Some of them were document on mediocre live albums: the triple-CD Unwound (Screwgun, 1997), Discretion (Screwgun, 1997), with new versions of Byram's World and The Opener and the 18-minute Eye Are Us, and Saturation Point (Screwgun, 1997). Seconds (Screwgun, 2007) added a three-disc set.

Inference (june 1992) was a live duet with pianist Marilyn Crispell.

Ornery People (october 1997) was a duet with Formanek. Cause And Reflect (july 1998) was a duet with Roberts.

Big Satan (february 1996 - Winter & Winter, 1997) was recorded by a trio with Ducret and drummer Tom Rainey, and half of it was composed by Ducret.

Visitation Rites (Screwgun, 1997), whose highlight is the 30-minute Piano Justice, was recorded live in 1996 by Paraphrase, a new trio of Berne, drummer Tom Rainey and bassist Drew Gress.

Ornery People (Little Brother, 1998) collected duo compositions of Berne and Michael Formanek. Cause & Reflect (Level Green, 1998) were duos between Berne and Hank Roberts (the least tedious of the time). Melquiades (Splasch, 1999) and Auto da Fe (Splasch, 2002) were duos with the quartet Enten Eller. Ellissi (Splasch, 1999) were duos with Umberto Petrin. Berne rarely introduced new elements, and often sounded like a bad parody of himself.

Paraphrase (Berne, Gress and Rainey) returned with Please Advise (november 1998 - Screwgun, 1999), collecting two live performances: Critical Mass and Good Evening. Compared with the previous albums, it was a masterpiece.

At last, The Shell Game (february 2001 - Thirsty Ear, 2002) was a studio recording after so many (mediocre) live albums. The trio of Berne, percussionist Rainey and electronic keyboardist Craig Taborn crafted one of his masterpieces, the 30-minute Thin Ice as well as the 21-minute Twisted/Straight Jacket (but not Shell Game).
The welcome shift towards composition picked up momentum on The Sevens (december 2001 - New World, 2002), whose main players are the saxophonists of the ARTE Saxophone Quartet (plus on different tracks Berne on sax, Ducret on acoustic guitar and David Torn on electric guitar) and containing the 25-minute Quicksand (an intriguing game of composition, improvisation and remixing). Science Friction (Screwgun, 2002), with the usual Ducret, Taborn, Rainey, harks back to the chaotic, cartoonish suites of Berne's early days (Huevos, the eleven-minute Clown Finger, the nine-minute Sigh Fry, the twelve-minute Manatee Woman).

Even the ambitious Open Coma (july 2000 - Screwgun, 2002), a collaboration with the Copenhagen Art Ensemble, Herb Robertson and Marc Ducret, was noteworthy for the "orchestral" breadth of Berne's (ever more colossal) compositions (particularly the title-track, the only new piece).

Tim Berne's Science Friction Band (Berne, Taborn, Ducret, Rainey) released the two-disc live album The Sublime And (april 2003 - Thirsty Ear, 2003). This recording documents the most abstract aspect of Berne's art. The intelligence is still as luminous as on the first Science Friction album, but the ideas extend for too long their limited appeal. The 23-minute The Shell Game is a summary of all their styles: free-form group improvisation, total chaos, tonal fanfares, virtuoso solos. It is fascinating how Berne transitions from a Braxton-ian pattern to a melodic theme at the beginning of Mrs Subliminal/Clownfinger, but the rest of the 30-minute piece is largely uneventful (it takes about 20 minutes for the music to coalesce in one of Berne's "total chaos"). Best is perhaps the old Jalapeno Diplomacy/ Traction, which starts out with a breath-taking high-speed, keyboards-driven jam (more reminiscent of progressive-rock than improvised jazz), followed by a charming dissonant exchange, which eventually leads to a syncopated sax solo. Partially successful is also Van Gundy's Retreat, in which guitar and saxophone experiment both dissonant counterpoint and minimalist repetition, while the electronics is largely a subliminal presence.

Marc Ducret and Tom Rainey (as well as producer David Torn) joined Tim Berne again for Big Satan's Souls Saved Hear (june 2003 - Thirsty Ear, 2004). The ten-minute Ca Sont Les Noms des Mots is notable for its Jimi Hendrix-ian solos and the bluesy coda. The fibrillating Plantain Surgery is an interesting essay on rhythm and sound decomposition. The trio also excels when it indulges in disjointed and somewhat violent counterpoint, such as in Hostility Suite and Rampe. Other pieces (Mr Subliminal) are a lot of doodling that could have been edited out. The frantic, almost swinging, melodic motif of Geez is just about the only moment of calm in this eruption of verve.

Hard Cell was the trio of Berne, Taborn and Rainey. They released the live Hard Cell (2004) and Feign (may 2005).

Tim Berne then launched Buffalo Collision with Duck (Screwgun, 2008), a quartet with Tim Ethan Iverson (piano), Hank Roberts (cello) and Dave King (drums).

Insomnia (june 1997) collects The Proposal (36 minutes) and oPEN, cOMA (30 minutes) for a spectacular octet with Baikida Carroll (trumpet), Michael Formanek (bass), Marc Ducret (12-string guitar), Dominique Pifarely (violin), Erik Friedlander (cello), Chris Speed (clarinet), Jim Black (drums) and Tim Berne (alto and baritone sax), basically an augmented version of Bloodcount.

Old And Unwise (june 2010) documents a collaboration between saxophonist Tim Berne and French double-bassist Bruno Chevillon.

Tim Berne, guitarist Nels Cline and drummer Jim Black improvised The Veil (july 2009), credited to BB&C, and containing the eloquent and elegant Tiny Moment, but more importantly the seven episodes of the eponymous suite, notably the ferocious Rescue Her, Railroaded and Barbarella Syndrome.

Bang (august 1990) documents a live concert by Tim Berne (alto sax), Mark Feldman (violin), Herb Robertson (trumpet and flugelhorn), Percy Jones (electric bass), Matteo Ederle (keyboards), and Bobby Previte (drums).

Snakeoil (january 2011) featured a quartet with Oscar Noriega on clarinets, Matt Mitchell on piano, and Ches Smith on drums. Snakeoil's follow-up was Shadow Man (ECM, 2013).

Snakeoil returned with You've Been Watching Me (december 2014), featuring Oscar Noriega (clarinets), Matt Mitchell (piano and electronics), Ryan Ferreira (electric and acoustic guitars) and Ches Smith (drums, vibraphone, percussion, timpani).

Tim Berne (alto sax), Tom Rainey (drums), Ben Gerstein (trombone) and Dan Peck (tuba) played on German saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock's Ubatuba (september 2014).

Tim Berne also played on T-Duality (march 2013) a collaboration with Italian drummer and composer Ananda Gari, guitarist Rez Abbasi (guitar) and bassist Michael Formanek.

Credited to bassist John Hebert, Sounds Of Love (march 2013) documents a live performance by Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet), Tim Berne (alto sax), Fred Hersch (piano) and Ches Smith (drums & percussion).

Snakeoil returned with Incidentals (december 2014) performed by Oscar Noriega (clarinets), Ryan Ferreira (guitars;), Matt Mitchell (piano), Ches Smith (drums, vibraphone, percussion, timpani) and David Torn (guitar). It contains the 26-minute Sideshow.

Angel Dusk (Screwgun, 2018) documents duets with pianist Matt Mitchell.

Berne on alto sax, David Torn (electric guitar, live-looping, electronics) and Ches Smith (drums, electronics, tanbou) recorded two sessions collected on Sun Of Goldfinger (september 2015 and august 2018): the 24-minute Eye Meddle, the 23-minute Soften The Blow, and the 22-minute Spartan (with Craig Taborn on keyboards, the Scorchio Quartet and a guitar duo).

Michael Formanek, Tim Berne and Mary Halvorson formed the Very Practical Trio first documented on Even Better (february 2019).

Snakeoil returned with The Fantastic Mrs 10 (may 2019)

The Coanda Effect (october 2019) documents a collaboration with drummer Nasheet Waits, notably the 39-minute Tensile.

Snakeoil's double-disc The Deceptive 4 contains a live recording of december 2017 and four unreleased tracks (november 2009 and june 2010), notably the 21-minute Hemphill.

Broken Shadows (may 2018) documents a quartet with Chris Speed (tenor sax), Reid Anderson (bass) and Dave King (drums) performing covers of famous jazz pieces.

Mars (may 2021) contains duets between Berne and Canadian guitarist Gregg Belisle-Chi.

The (D)IVO Saxophone Quartet with Ivo Perelman (tenor), Tony Malaby (soprano), Tim Berne (alto) and James Carter (baritone) debuted with (D)IVO Saxophone Quartet (january 2022).

One More, Please (october 2021) documents a live performance with Matt Mitchell (piano).

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