This is some band. At first, I was mesmerized by Ches Smith and the other 3 phenomenal artists were background. As t went on, I ended up being in awe and giving each of them my full attention. The new CD is phenomenal as well.
SNAKEOIL is a potent blend of new voices and new ideas. Oscar Noriega (woodwinds), Matt Mitchell (keyboards) and Ches Smith (percussion) bring fresh sounds and vibrant energy. Berne responds with a stunning book of new pieces balancing compositional rigor with fluid group improvisation. Hypnotic rhythms and long, seductive melodies collide with jagged dissonances and surprising textural shifts. A lush, organic blend of saxophones and clarinets is layered with electronic and acoustic keyboards and an ever-changing tapestry of percussion. Freedom and discipline, consonance and discord, past, present and future- all work together to power this new band from Tim Berne.