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Berne to Shine

What does new major-label exposure mean to an avowed avant-gardist?

Tim Berne (Photo courtesy of ECM Records)
Tim Berne (Photo courtesy of ECM Records)

Back on a major label and at the helm of an excellent young working band dedicated to his vision, saxophonist Tim Berne has emerged from the underground yet again. But what does the spotlight mean to an artist so completely devoted to creative daring?

If you’ve logged any course hours in modern philosophy, you may have spent more time than you’d like considering the tensions between skepticism and pragmatism. If you’ve spent much time with the music of saxophonist, composer and bandleader Tim Berne, you’ve felt those tensions at gut level. Over the course of his intensely self-directed career, Berne has embodied a rough convergence of those two schools of thought, casting a cold eye on conventional wisdom while endlessly putting theory into practice.

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