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Tim Berne/Hank Roberts: Cause and Reflect

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Saxophonist Berne and cellist Roberts were formerly teamed up with drummer Joey Baron in the volatile trio Miniature. In this daring duet setting they explore the full range of timbres, textures and dynamics while engaging in some intimate conversation along the way.

The onomatopoeic opener, “Wobbly,” develops into a showcase for Berne’s rich tone, flowing lines, daring intervallic leaps and stratospheric overblowing on alto against Roberts’ aggressively bowed statements. “Temporary Sanity,” a moody ballad that resonates with beautiful harmony and counterpoint, features an uncommonly sensitive approach to baritone sax by Berne while on the more urgent “Cool Sweat” he bears down with free-bop abandon on the same unwieldy instrument. Roberts’ percussive tendencies on cello are highlighted on “More Than Once Dance” and “Showdown!,” which also has Berne playing percussively on the keys of his bari when he’s not circular breathing and skronking wildly on the brass beast. And the two kindred spirits strike a lovely accord on the melancholy closer “In Other Words.”

The third partner in this adventurous collaboration is space, which lends a dramatic, authoritative quality to each of the notes played on spacious pieces like “Invasion of the Freudian Shrimp,” “In Other Words” and “Real Waiting Mire Calliope.”

Disarming, challenging music by two of today’s most accomplished sonic provocateurs.