The Squid's Ear Magazine

  Rapid SSL





  American Express

© 2002-2016, Squidco LLC

Two key Berne compositions - "The Proposal" and "Open Coma" - recorded in 1997 with an incredible band including Bakida Carroll, Marc Ducret, Erik Friedlander, Jim Black, Chris Speed, &c.

Berne, Tim

Berne, Tim: Insomnia (Clean Feed)
Label: Clean Feed    
Released in: Portugal    

"Insomnia might seem like a liability for someone who needs to be creative and sharp, but not always. Sleeplessness can give the eye another perspective - as if seeing through a kind of kaleidoscope: The things on the other end are the same, but they look different, other.

Tim Berne didn't sleep the night before he and a choice international octet recorded Insomnia live in the studio, summer 1997. "I wouldn't suggest not sleeping before a session or a gig," Berne says, "but in this case, it did make everything look sharper. It was a different kind of focus." And this document is different, strikingly so.

Released for the first time, Insomnia comprises two key Berne compositions - "the proposal" and "oPEN, cOMA," each a half-hour long or more - refracted through an expansive, even orchestral sensibility. Eight musicians can sound like 20 in these beautifully textured arrangements, with chamber-music intimacy the order, rather than any typical big-band jazziness.

The core of the band is Berne's '90s quartet Bloodcount: Berne on alto and baritone saxophones, double-bassist Michael Formanek, drummer Jim Black and reed man Chris Speed on clarinet. The rest of the rich ensemble is made up of veteran trumpeter Baikida Carroll and a complement of strings: violinist Dominique Pifarély, cellist Erik Friedlander and guitarist Marc Ducret on 12-string acoustic.

"It's just large enough to sound big, but it's not too big to keep from being intimate," Berne says. "The big band thing, per se, doesn't really interest me. I'm not into some people improvising and the rest just playing backgrounds. Here, all the improvising actually makes the written notes sound more alive but also more lucid." Composition and improvisation are threads woven together like a fantastic, multi-hued yarn on Insomnia. There are shades both bold and subtle; passages that are knife-edged, others that are limpid. There are extreme rhythmic intricacies, as well as disarming legato melodies and textures that feel wholly new. Moreover, instrumental episodes lead from one to another like chapters in a stream-of-consciousness narrative.

"The big thing to me are the transitions - if they don't work, the whole thing falls apart," Berne says. "With the arrangements, it's about balance, matching an instrument with very little sustain, like acoustic guitar, with one that has a beautifully sustained sound, like the cello. And the doubling allowed people to play lighter, with more subtlety, that intimacy I was looking for."

Even the album artwork -done by Steven Byram, who has created so many latter-day Berne covers - feeds into the kaleidoscopic impressions of Insomnia. "Byram's work is beautiful in that organic way; it just adds to the vibe. You get stimulated even before you open the thing."-Clean Feed

Read more about this item
The Squid
At The Squid's Ear!

See all items in the Clean Feed category

Related Categories of Interest:

Clean Feed

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
2011 Top 40

Search for other titles on the Clean Feed label.

Other Recommended Releases:
Blanc, Michel
Le Miroir des Ondes
Berne's, Tim Snakeoil
You've Been Watching Me
Ducret, Marc
Tower-Bridge [2 CDs]
Berne, Tim - Snakeoil
Shadow Man
Papasoff, Charles
(Red Toucan)
Lama + Chris Speed
(Clean Feed)
Carvalhais, Hugo
(Clean Feed)
Claudia Quintet + 1, The
What Is The Beautiful? (Featuring Kurt Elling And Theo Bleckmann)
(Cuneiform )

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought:
Hawkins, Alexander / Evan Parker
Leaps in Leicester
(Clean Feed)
Brotzmann / Adasiewicz / Edwards / Noble
Mental Shake
Bailey, Derek / Trevor Watts / John Stevens
Dynamics of the Impromptu
Grimal, Alexandra
Barno, Niklas / Joel Grip / Didier Lasserre
Can't Stop Snusing
Warner, Henry P. / Earl Freeman / Philip Spigner
Freestyle Band
Lamb, Andrew / Tom Abbs / Michael Wimberly / Guillermo E. Brown
Rhapsody in Black
Sharp Trio, Elliott
(Clean Feed)
RED Trio + Nate Wooley
(Clean Feed)
Toral, Rafael / Davu Seru
Live in Minneapolis
(Clean Feed)
Kullhammar / Zetterberg / Aalberg
Basement Sessions Vol.1
(Clean Feed)
Ballister (Dave Rempis, Fred Lonberg-Holm and Paal Nilssen-Love)
(Clean Feed)
Mcphee, Joe / Ingebrigt Haker Flaten
Brooklyn DNA
(Clean Feed)
Bryan and the Haggards
Still Alive and Kickin' Down the Walls
(Hot Cup Records)
Wild Chamber Trio
10.000 Leaves
(Not Two Records)
Ricart Quartet, Edward
Orelli 6, Marco von
Close Ties On Hidden Lanes
Savoldelli, Boris
Price: $14.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 5609063002157

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF 215
Squidco Product Code: 13961

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2011
Country: Portugal
Recorded in Fluz, New York City, June 1997 by Les Reverb.


Baikida Carroll-trumpet

Michael Fermanek-contrabass

Marc Ducret-12 string guitar

Dominique Pifarely-violin
Erik Friedlander-cello

Chris Speed-clarinet

Jim Black-drums,

Tim Berne-alto and baritone saxophones

Highlight an artist name or instrument above
and click here to Search

Track Listing:

1. The Proposal 35:58

2. Open Coma 29:56

What are other customers searching for?