Tim Berne’s Snakeoil: Incidentals – pointing to a brave new sound world
Tim Berne's Snakeoil
Among a small but influential group of musicians and listeners, all ears are trained on what Tim Berne will do next, and therein lies one of his strengths as a band leader. The saxophonist and composer has been breaking new ground since the 1980s, but now with the attention of that devoted audience and an ongoing relationship with the ECM label, Berne is able to keep his superb Snakeoil band together and delve ever deeper into his concept of “transparent density”, of what happens in the space where composition and improvisation meet. Beautiful is probably the wrong word for music that is so challenging to the ear, but there is something fresh – even alarming – here that points the way to a brave new sound world.