Angel Dusk by Tim Berne and Matt Mitchell.
Bandcamp Link: Angel Dusk
Last year Mitchell released a solo piano recording of Tim Berne pieces, FØRAGE.
This year, Berne and Mitchell have collaborated on a duo album. (They also play together in Berne’s Snakeoil ensemble.) I feel a bit like the FØRAGE album’s sensibilities have melted a bit into this duo album. Berne slows down (a bit) and his playing is less angular. Heck, the songs “Chance” and “Snail’s Pace” could almost be accused of lyricism.
I like pretty much everything Berne and Mitchell do, so it’s tough to recommend one thing over another.
But, to hear two players who are this familiar with each other do pretty much what they want for 40 minutes… Well, just listening to the unadorned interplay between the two of them makes this a “must buy” album for me.
Before listening to this, I had read that Weiss and his compatriots were examining the edge between Jazz and Heavy Metal.
Indeed, this is pretty heavy.
But, not exactly “Metal”. Or, if it is Metal, it is very eclectic Metal.
In any case, many of the tracks remind me more of King Crimson than anything else. I guess, another band that explored the edges of Prog, Metal, and Jazz.
Trevor Dunn and Dan Weiss, Bass and Drums, are often channeling what sounds like Discipline era Crimson. While Ben Monder is a bit more eclectic. I’m going to say, more early years Robert Fripp, than later. Plus, two keyboardists, Matt Mitchell and Craig Taborn. Though, their keyboarding is fairly sparse. No banks of lush chords.
But it isn’t particularly “Jazz”. Very little of what I consider Jazz idioms or Forms show up. The odd fusion chord change is about it for the Jazz content on this release.
If you enjoy, say, Nels Cline Singers, or the aforementioned King Crimson, you will probably enjoy this.
Incidentals by Tim Berne’s Snakeoil aka Tim Berne, Ryan Ferreira, Matt Mitchell, Oscar Noriega, and Ches Smith (with special guest David Torn on a couple tracks). This is the 4th Snakeoil album on ECM and the 5th overall, if you count the Anguis Oleum live CD included with the Berne/Byram Book “Spare”. Also, the 2nd Snakeoil album with guitars.
I’ve been watching Berne for, uh, I don’t know how long. I guess, the first release which really caught my eye was the anxiety inducing, yet hilarious, “Fractured Fairy Tales” from 1989. So, crap, at least 28 years.
I was initially hesitant about the addition of Ferreira’s guitar to the Snakeoil mix, but I think they have really found a place for it to work and add tension and drama to the group’s compositions.
This is a great addition to Snakeoil and Berne’s body of work, and maybe Snakeoil’s best album so far.
If you’re in the Bay Area, or mobile, Snakeoil will be playing SF Jazz’ Henderson Lab on Saturday, September 23rd.
Great titles, adventurous writing, interesting instrumentation, and expressive playing. Modern Improvised Music at its best!
The use of long horn tones from Mr Viner over propulsive rhythms occasionally reminds me of some of Chris Speed’s work, but the more scattered pulse of Ms Gentile’s percussion and Mr Mitchell’s keyboards is very distinct from Mr Speed’s usual collaborators.
A unique, compelling, and rewarding recording. (I think this is the first time I can remember ever heard anyone use a Prophet Sampler/Keyboard on a “Jazz” release, kudos to Ms Gentile and Mr Mitchell.)
Grace and beauty aren’t characteristics I normally associate with Tim Berne’s harmonically restless and radically syncopated pieces. However, on this solo piano recording of his works by Matt Mitchell, there are some astoundingly beautiful and graceful passages.