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Berne, Tim & The Copenhagen Art Ensemble: Open, Coma (Screwgun)

2000 studio and live release from Tim Berne with a big band grouping of the Copenhagen Art Ensemble including trumpeter Herb Robertson and guitarist Marc Ducret.

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product information:

Label: Screwgun
Catalog ID: screwu012
Squidco Product Code: 8405

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2001
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardstock 4 page foldover
"The Legend Of P-1", "Eye Contact" and "Impacted Wisdom" recorded live in Copenhagen Jazzhouse on September 16, 2000 by Danish Radio Broadcast, Niels Erik Lund. "Open, Coma" recorded on September 17, 2000 in Studio 7, Swedish Broadcasting Corp. Malmo, Sweden by Hans Larsson.


Tim Berne-alto sax

Lotte Anker-soprano sax, tenor sax

Thomas Agergaard-tenor sax, flute

Peter Fuglsang-clarinet, bass clarinet

Herb Robertson-trumpet

Lars Vissing-trumpet

Kasper Tranberg-cornet

Mads Hyhne-trombone

Klaus Lohrer-bass trombone, tuba

Thomas Clausen-piano, Fender Rhodes

Marc Ducret-guitar

Nils Davisen-bass

Anders Morgensen-drums

Ture Larsen-conducter

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track listing:

Disc 1

1. open, coma 28:02

2. eye contact 46:10

Disc 2

1. the legend of p-1 33:00

2. impacted wisdom 41:55

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Saxophonist Tim Berne's usual comfort zone (to the extent he ever really gets comfortable!) lies in smallish groups. Some of his best material has been performed in quartets and sextets. But on Open Coma, he throws the gates open to the Copenhagen Art Ensemble, whose 11 members mix with Berne's long-time collaborators Marc Ducret and Herb Robertson. The big band does his music justice.

The four pieces on this two-disc set are generous in length, stretching from 28 to 46 minutes. Obviously this is not music for people with a short attention span. But since the pieces are arranged in relatively bite-sized chunks, the listening experience doesn't require all that much effort. Radio hits these are not, though ironically the recording was produced for exactly that medium. (Apparently the Swedes and Danes still have some bandwidth left on the dial for serious music.)

In the grand tradition of free jazz big bands, Open, Coma occupies precious space between arranged themes and wide open improvisation. At times it's hard to detect much arrangement at all, and at others there's clearly a sense of order. Berne, Ducret, and Robertson each play major roles as soloists, but as often as not they yield to the members of the Copenhagen Art Ensemble. This group, conducted by Ture Larson, has no trouble navigating the waters of freedom. In fact, some of the choicest moments on this set arise when the CAE members engage in spirited conversation.

This recording also presents an exception to Berne's usual hard-edged approach to composition and performance. Rather than bustling in and around quirky rhythms, these tunes tend to emphasize texture and space. Sure, there's plenty of energy at times, but there are also plenty of quiet, reflective moments. The first half hour of "Eye Contact," for example, offers generous space and some tastefully lyrical playing. Berne lends his voice here, sounding as soft and engaging as he's been on record. But there's more. As the group rolls off a horny arrangement halfway through the title piece, Marc Ducret steps in to deliver a sharp electric improvisation that travels through free space and eventually returns to support the big-band reprise. Somehow, despite the changes of scenery, it all sounds very connected.

In many ways Open, Coma represents a new approach for Tim Berne. Never one to get too comfortable in any given place, he's taken a risk here by blowing up the size of the group and opening up its sound substantially. It pays off."-Nils Jacobson, All About Jazz

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