Tim Berne: alto saxophone
Oscar Noriega: alto saxophone, bass clarinet
Matt Mitchell: piano, electronics
Ches Smith: drums, vibes
On December 1st, Firehouse 12 is pleased to present alto saxophonist and composer Tim Berne's group Snakeoil as they celebrate the release of Incidentals on ECM Records. Snakeoil features the unique instrumentation of saxophone, clarinet, piano, and drums which allows the music to be transparent, direct, and at times, forceful. Snakeoil features pianist Matt MItchell, clarinetist, Oscar Noriega, and percussionist Ches Smith.
Berne is noted for his ability to balance "interlocking, rhythm-rooted melody with an affecting modern lyricism" while also balancing "composition, improvisation, and the tonal resources of an acoustic band" (John Fordham, The Guardian). Snakeoil's first eponymous album was called "unpredictable and fresh...the completely improvised passages are often indistinguishable from the scored parts" (John Kelman, All About Jazz). Chris Barton of the LA Times called Snakeoil "an album that balances lush composition and free expression."
Berne was initially inspired to take up saxophone after hearing Julius Hemphill's 1972 LP Dogon A.D. Since that time, he has built an expansive discography as a leader that includes albums on Columbia, JMT, Winter & Winter, Thirsty Ear, as well as his own Screwgun Records imprint. Berne has collaborated with musicians like Michael Formanek, Chris Speed, Jim Black, Marc Ducret, Mark Dresser, Steve Swell, Bobby Previte, Tom Rainey, Craig Taborn, and many others.
Learn more about Tim Berne here: http://www.screwgunrecords.com