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Berne's, Tim Snakeoil (Ducret / Mitchell / Noriega / Smith): The Fantastic Mrs. 10 (Intakt)

Starting in 2012 as a quartet with Oscar Noriega (reeds), Matt Mitchell (piano), and Ches Smith (drums/vibes), then expanded with guitar, saxophonist Tim Berne's Snakeoil now moves to the Swiss Intakt label, swapping guitarists for Marc Ducret, and releasing this fantastically intricate album of Berne compositions + 1 Hemphill piece, launching points for extraordinary soloing!
 

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Personnel:



Tim Berne-alto saxophone

Marc Ducret-guitars

Matt Mitchell-piano, tack piano, modular synths

Oscar Noriega-bass clarinet, bb clarinet

Ches Smith-drums, vibes, glockenspiel, Haitian Tanbou


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UPC: 7640120193409

Label: Intakt
Catalog ID: ITK340.2
Squidco Product Code: 28490

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Clubhouse, in Rhinebeck, New York, on May 29th, 2019, by D. James Goodwin and Shubham Mondal.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Tim Berne recorded for Intakt Records for the first time in 2019 as the saxophonist in Michael Formanek's Very Practical Trio with Mary Halvorson. Now the New York saxophonist, composer and bandleader presents a new album with his ensemble Snakeoil. After three albums this is the first Snakeoil record to be released on Intakt. The band balances the possibilities of composition, improvisation and the tonal possibilities of an acoustic and electric playing jazz band in an unmistakable way. The Fantastic Mrs.10 is one of Snakeoil's most mature and at the same time most edgy releases. Guitarist Marc Ducret joins the core quartet of Tim Berne, Matt Mitchell, Oscar Noriega and Ches Smith. The band's sound is also influenced by sound engineer and Berne's musician cohort David Torn, who completes the postproduction. Tim Berne says in the liner notes "I think this is the best one yet. That's a stupid thing to say, but it's kind of a culmination. Ches, Matt, Oscar - it's almost like we always forget what we did the last time out, and that's a really healthy amnesia. There's a dedication to moving ahead. They're truly into it, and it motivates me."-Intakt



"Imagine Tim Berne as the lead in the 1980's' American television series The A-Team, declaring: "I love it when a plan comes together!" He must return to that catchphrase every time his ensemble Snakeoil finishes a recording. After four outings on Manfred Eicher's ECM Records, the previous being Incidentals (2017), he moves his A-Team to Intakt Records. The Fantastic Mrs. 10 confirms this ensemble is on par with the saxophonist's other great band, Bloodcount, with Chris Speed, Jim Black, Michael Formanek and Marc Ducret.

A new addition to Snakeoil, the guitar of Ducret joins Berne's cast of pianist Matt Mitchell, clarinetist Oscar Noriega and percussionist Ches Smith. Like Bloodcount, it is difficult to imagine any other musicians playing this music. Berne's distinctive compositions are at the same time heretically free and structurally regimented. His logic, which flows from his early years as understudy with Julius Hemphill, is elaborate yet straightforward.

The bass-less quintet maintains time in an unstated fashion, with each musician free to comment within Berne's structures. The pace of "Surface Noise" with its quiet piano and glockenspiel opening, courses stream-like into eddies and an eventual whirlpool of sound with the addition of the other musicians. The track flows into a quieter alluvial plain of scratchy guitar effects and a Noriega clarinet whale-song before the shock and awe ending. Berne's distinctive compositions are idiosyncratic without being pretentious. The one cover, "Dear Friend" by Julius Hemphill, is a beautiful ballad with gentle horns, ringing notes and scurrying of mice feet (not really) over guitar strings. Where other jazz composers are playing checkers, Berne is playing chess. "-Mark Corroto, All About Jazz


Get additional information at All About Jazz

Artist Biographies

"Tim Berne (born 1954) is an American jazz saxophonist and composer.

Described by critic Thom Jurek as commanding "considerable power as a composer and ... frighteningly deft ability as a soloist", Berne has composed and performed prolifically since the 1980s. His mainstream success has been limited – Berne recorded two albums for Columbia Records – but he has released a significant body of work over the decades spanning dozens of critically acclaimed recordings.

Though Berne was a music fan, he had no interest in playing a musical instrument until he was in college, when he purchased an alto saxophone. He was more interested in rhythm and blues music – Stax records releases and Aretha Franklin, especially – until he heard Julius Hemphill's 1972 recording Dogon A.D.

Hemphill was known for his integration of soul music and funk with free jazz. Berne moved to New York City in 1974. There Berne took lessons from Hemphill, and later recorded with him.

In 1979, Berne founded Empire Records to release his own recordings. He recorded Fulton Street Maul and Sanctified Dreams for Columbia Records, which generated some discussion and controversy, due in part to the fact that Berne's music had little in common with the neo-tradionalist hard bop performers prominent in the mid-1980s. Some regarded Berne's music as uncommercial. In the late 1990s Berne founded Screwgun Records, which has released his own recordings, as well as others' music.

Beyond his recordings as a bandleader, Berne has recorded and/or performed with guitarist Bill Frisell, avant-garde composer/sax player John Zorn, violinist Mat Maneri, guitarist David Torn, cellist Hank Roberts, trumpet player Herb Robertson, the ARTE Quartett and as a member of the cooperative trio Miniature.

Recent years have found Berne performing in several different groups with drummers Tom Rainey and Gerald Cleaver, keyboardist Craig Taborn, bassists Michael Formanek and Drew Gress, guitarists Marc Ducret and David Torn, and reeds player Chris Speed.

He is one-third of the group BBC (Berne/Black/Cline) along with drummer Jim Black and Nels Cline of Wilco. The group released a critically acclaimed album called The Veil in 2011.

Berne's complex, multi-section compositions are often quite lengthy; twenty- to thirty-minute pieces are not unusual. One critic wrote that Berne's long songs "don't grow tiresome. The musicians are brilliantly creative and experienced enough not to get lost in all the room provided by these large time frames." "

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Berne)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Guitarist Marc Ducret was born in Paris in 1957. A self-taught musician, he began working in various groups (dance and folk included), and in the studio, before reaching the age of 20. In 1986, he became a member of the first French National Jazz Orchestra. Also in the late '80s, Ducret led his own trio and toured Europe, Africa, and Asia. In 1991, he began working with Tim Berne and went on to play with Berne in Caos Totale, Bloodcount, and Big Satan. Ducret has several solo recordings to his credit, released on Berne's Screwgun label and the Winter & Winter label. In the late '90s, Ducret formed a tentet, Seven Songs, to explore music of the '60s."-Joslyn Layne

-All Music (https://www.allmusic.com/artist/marc-ducret-mn0000955833/biography)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Matt Mitchell is a pianist and composer interested in the intersections of various strains of acoustic, electric, composed, and improvised new music. He currently composes for and leads several ensembles featuring many of the current foremost musicians and improvisers, including Tim Berne, Kim Cass, Caroline Davis, Kate Gentile, Ben Gerstein, Sylvaine Hélary, Jon Irabagon, Travis Laplante, Ava Mendoza, Miles Okazaki, Ches Smith, Chris Speed, Tyshawn Sorey, Chris Tordini, Anna Webber, Dan Weiss, and Katie Young.

He is an anchor member of several significant creative music ensembles which integrate composed and improvised music, including Tim Berne's Snakeoil, the Dave Douglas Quintet, John Hollenbeck's Large Ensemble, Rudresh Mahanthappa's Bird Calls, Jonathan Finlayson's Sicilian Defense, Dan Weiss's Large Ensemble, Steve Coleman's Natal Eclipse, the Darius Jones Quartet, Kate Gentile's Mannequins, Mario Pavone's Blue Dialect Trio, Anna Webber's Simple Trio, Ches Smith's We All Break, Michael Attias' Spun Tree, Ohad Talmor's Grand Ensemble, and Quinsin Nachoff's Flux. He is also among the core performers of John Zorn's Bagatelles.

Musicians with whom he performs and has performed include Jon Irabagon, Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth, John Hollenbeck's Claudia Quintet + 1, JD Allen, Rudresh Mahanthappa and Bunky Green's Apex, Rez Abbasi's Invocation, Lee Konitz, Kenny Wheeler, Ralph Alessi's Baida Quartet, Dave King's Indelicate duo, Amir ElSaffar, Marc Ducret, David Torn, Vernon Reid, Clarence Penn and Penn Station, Linda Oh, Rudy Royston, Allison Miller, Donny McCaslin, Brad Shepik, and Darcy James Argue's Secret Society.

He has taught extensively with the Brooklyn-based School for Improvisational Music, as well as at the New School, NYU, and the Siena Jazz Workshop. He is also a 2015 receipient of a Doris Duke Impact Award and a 2012 recipient of a Pew Fellowship from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage."

-Matt Mitchell Website (http://www.mattmitchell.us/bio/)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Multi-instrumentalist and composer, Oscar lives in Brooklyn since 1992.

He has worked with Lee Konitz, Anthony Braxton, Gerry Hemingway, Dewey Redman and Paul Motion.

He is currently performing with Tim Berne's Snakeoil, Endangered Blood (Chris Speed, Jim Black, Trevor Dunn) and colead with Jacob Garchik, the Mexico-inspired Banda De Los Muertos.

He plays alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet and drums."

-Oscar Noriega Website (http://www.oscarnoriega.com/contact/)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Born in San Diego, CA and raised in Sacramento, Ches Smith came up in a scene of punks and metal musicians who were listening to and experimenting with jazz and free improvisation. He studied philosophy at the University of Oregon before relocating to the San Francisco Bay area in 1995. After a few years of playing with obscure bands and intensive study with drummer / educator Peter Magadini, he enrolled in the graduate program at Mills College in Oakland at the suggestion of percussionist William Winant. There he studied percussion, improvisation, and composition with Winant, Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros and Alvin Curran. One of Winant's first "assignments" for Ches was to sub in his touring gig at the time, Mr. Bungle (here he met bassist / composer Trevor Dunn who would later hire him for the second incarnation of his Trio-Convulsant). During his time at Mills, Ches co-founded two bands: Theory of Ruin (with Fudgetunnel / Nailbomb frontman Alex Newport), and Good for Cows (w/ Nels Cline Singers' Devin Hoff). He currently performs and records with Xiu Xiu, and Secret Chiefs 3. He has also performed with Ben Goldberg, Annie Gosfield, Wadada Leo Smith, John Tchicai, Fred Frith, and Trevor Dunn. In addition to Ceramic Dog, he also leads his two of his own projects, Congs for Brums and These Arches. He currently spends his time between Los Angeles, San Francisco and Brooklyn."

-Ches Smith Website (http://www.chessmith.com/)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. The Fantastic Mrs. 10 12:41

2. Surface Noise 11:35

3. Rolo 13:27

4. Dear Friend 3:24

5. The Amazing Mr. 7 8:56

6. Third Option 14:33

7. Rose Colored Assive 2:39

Related Categories of Interest:

Intakt

Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Quintet Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Jazz & Improvisation Based on Compositions

Search for other titles on the label:
Intakt.


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