Tim Berne's third ECM album, 'You've Been Watching Me', sees the saxophonist-composer again leading his dynamic New York band Snakeoil, but with the quartet now a quintet with the arrival of guitarist Ryan Ferreira, whose sound adds textural allure.
The group's 2013 release, 'Shadow Man', garnered Berne some of the highest praise of his career as a composer and bandleader. DownBeat said: "This music rocks and thinks, explores, deconstructs, and swings, in its own identifiably angular, Berne-ian way."
If Berne has hit a new peak with his writing on this new recording, his band has reached a heightened state of collective interaction. Snakeoil can still be bracingly kinetic. But there is new space in these compositions and more lyrical focus to the improvisations, leading to a dramatic, even cinematic experience in such tracks as "Embraceable Me." Berne's music has never been richer or more arresting.
'Snakeoil', from 2012, was Berne's first s....... more