Tim Berne — Science Friction
(Screwgun SCREWU 013, 2002, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2005-09-01The current direction of modern saxophone icon Tim Berne began in 2002 with this eight piece CD featuring his world class multi-talented quartet. Studio versions of “Huevos,” and “Manatee Woman” (both highlights of the live Thirsty Ear recording from 2003) indicate that the initial quartet’s stance of improvisation is fire-starting but perhaps not quite as intuitive. Short tracks such as “Mikromas” and “The Mallomar Maneuvre” offer much needed relief to the complex dialogue between the performers that requires serious heavy listening. Berne’s playing is central to the success of the disc as he is on top of careful key changes and adept with brash punctuation at key points. Keyboardist Craig Taborn is simply a joy to listen to across the disc on electric piano. His adept accompaniment works in tandem with guitarist Marc Ducret as both players weave in and out of the complex sound map. Ducret himself is especially volatile on the opening cut and acclaimed drummer Tom Rainey shows how he anchors the group’s tempo and embellishes diverging melodic lines. The most effective piece is perhaps “Sigh Fry,” which begins from a pastoral ambiguous mood and evolves into an unsettling base for Ducret’s histrionics. David Torn applies his Spattercell alter ego for production work that pushes the collective results into another realm. There is no doubt that these performers were on to something special that is so much greater than the sum of their individual parts.
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more