221 NW 10th Ave.
Critically acclaimed saxophonist and composer Tim Berne’s New York ensemble Snakeoil returns to Portland with local improvisational jazz group Blue Cranes opening. This performance is co-presented by The Creative Music Guild, KBOO Community Radio 90.7 FM and KMHD 89.1 FM.
Tim Berne’s Snakeoil
“Few musicians working in or around jazz over the last 30 years have developed an idiomatic signature more distinctive than Tim Berne.”
— Nate Chinen, The New York Times
Tim Berne’s third ECM album, You’ve Been Watching Me, sees the saxophonist-composer again leading his ultra-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, with JazzTimes marveling over how his work grows “wilder and deeper.” The four-star DownBeat review said: “This music rocks and thinks, explores, deconstructs and, yes, it swings, in its own identifiably angular, Berne-ian way.”
Just as Berne has hit a new peak with his writing on You’ve Been Watching Me, his band has reached a heightened state of collective interaction, realizing the compositions to a tee.
Snakeoil – with the leader on alto sax alongside pianist Matt Mitchell, clarinetist Oscar Noriega, percussionist Ches Smith and Ferreira on electric and acoustic guitars – 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.” Put simply, Berne’s music has never been richer or more arresting.
“Highly original power quintet.”
– WALL STREET JOURNAL
Since their formation in 2007, Blue Cranes have become a key player in the Portland creative music/DIY scene and one of the most exciting groups to keep tabs on in the Northwest. They’ve developed a singular musical voice grounded in melody and explosive improvisations–marking off their unique microcosmic territory in post-jazz circles.
The members of the quintet–Reed Wallsmith on alto saxophone, Joe Cunningham on tenor saxophone, Rebecca Sanborn on keyboards, Jon Shaw on bass, and Ji Tanzer on drums–bring a unique array of experiences to their group-centered aesthetic, including work with AU, The Decemberists, Laura Veirs, Wayne Horvitz, Rebecca Gates, Laura Gibson, Ethan Rose, Ezra Weiss, Black Prairie, and Portland Cello Project. (http://www.bluecranesmusic.com)