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Tim Berne Science Friction Band: The Sublime And

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You can get lost in a Tim Berne composition-and not in the pejorative sense. The alto saxophonist writes in jagged meters where instruments dart around one another or comingle for a split-second before moving on into parallel universes. He works so frequently and successfully with extended compositions that a Berne piece clocking in less than 10 minutes almost seems like it doesn’t reach its full potential.

Naturally with music of this length, repeated listens reveal greater nuance almost every time. Berne likes to use different movements in his work, with a soloist cutting loose as the rest of the band changes the musical backdrop behind him. What sounds initially like a strange, arhythmical line eventually proves to be the direction of the next section. And as complex and twisted as he writes, Berne’s bands always make it swing as hard as a 4/4 groove.

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