TIM BERNE’S SNAKEOIL
$20 IN ADVANCE/ $20 AT THE DOOR - 9:30 PM
Tim Berne: Alto saxophone
Oscar Noriega: Bass and B-flat clarinets
Matt Mitchell: Piano and electronics
Ches Smith: Drums, vibraphone, percussion, timpani
Tim Berne’s third ECM album, You’ve Been Watching Me, sees the saxophonist-composer again leading his ultra-dynamic New York band Snakeoil. 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, and percussionist Ches Smith- 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.