The Squid's Ear Magazine


Berne's, Tim Snakeoil: You've Been Watching Me (ECM)

Saxophonist Tim Berne in his 3rd ECM album, leading his NY band Snakeoil, now a quintet with guitarist Ryan Ferreira joining pianist Matt Mitchell, clarinetist Oscar Noriega, and percussionist Ches Smith, for intricate, dynamic and sophisticated modern jazz.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Tim Berne-alto saxophone, composer

Oscar Noriega-clarinet, bass clarinet

Ryan Ferreira-electric guitar, acoustic guitar

Matt Mitchell-piano, electronics

Ches Smith-drums, vibes, percussion, timpani


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UPC: 602547222985

Label: ECM
Catalog ID: ECD 2443 4722298
Squidco Product Code: 20495

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: Germany
Packaging: Jewel Tray in wrap-around box
Recorded at "The Clubhouse" in Rhinebeck, New York, in December, 2014 by D. James Goodwin.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Tim Berne s third ECM album, You ve Been Watching Me, sees the saxophonist-composer again leading his ultra-dynamic New York band Snakeoil, but with the quartet now a quintet with the arrival of guitarist Ryan Ferreira, whose sound adds textural allure. The group s 2013 release, Shadow Man, garnered Berne some of the highest praise of his career as a composer and bandleader, with JazzTimes marveling over how his work grows wilder and deeper. The four-star DownBeat review said: This music rocks and thinks, explores, deconstructs and, yes, it swings, in its own identifiably angular, Berne-ian way. Just as Berne has hit a new peak with his writing on You ve Been Watching Me, his band has reached a heightened state of collective interaction, realizing the compositions to a tee. Snakeoil with the leader on alto sax alongside pianist Matt Mitchell, clarinetist Oscar Noriega, percussionist Ches Smith and Ferreira on electric and acoustic guitars can still be bracingly kinetic. But there is new space in these compositions and more lyrical focus to the improvisations, leading to a dramatic, even cinematic experience in such tracks as Embraceable Me. Put simply, Berne s music has never been richer or more arresting."


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)
2/26/2024

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/)
2/26/2024

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/)
2/26/2024

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/)
2/26/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Lost In Redding 6:59

2. Small World In A Small Town 18:26

3. Embraceable Me 14:13

4. Angles 2:26

5. You've Been Watching Me 1:47

6. Semi-Self Detached 10:24

7. False Impressions 13:22

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Quintet Recordings
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