Tim Berne’s Snakeoil released You’ve Been Watching Me, its third album on ECM, back in April. The band, which features a bass-less configuration with the recent addition of guitarist Ryan Ferreira on their latest album, will appear as a quartet minus Ferreira for their appearance at the Gallery this Thursday, and they’ll be appearing at IBeam Brooklyn the following evening as well.
Berne, a tirelessly prolific composer and saxophonist, has released 50 albums as leader or co-leader to date, and he shows no signs of stopping anytime soon, having been a creative force on the New York scene for over four decades. Snakeoil, which first came together six years ago, has been a vehicle for Berne’s intricate compositions, which have been likened to chamber music. As he says in a promotional video for the band’s second release, Shadow Man (2013), his conception for the band primarily involves creating compositional “scenarios” within which he and his bandmates navigate and make decisions together:
“I don’t really tell people how to play … I think my influence, if there’s any, is in the writing: creating these crazy scenarios that these guys kind of have to play their way out of, or into.”
The band has an unmistakable sonic profile, although one that’s perhaps hard to describe: shapeshifting, variously stark and dense, rich with detail but unafraid of space and silence. We’re pleased to welcome Berne back to our stage and hope you’ll join us to witness Snakeoil’s continuing evolution.
Tim Berne’s Snakeoil performs at The Jazz Gallery this Thursday, December 3rd, 2015. The group features Berne on alto saxophone, Oscar Noriega on clarinet and bass clarinet, Matt Mitchell on piano, and Ches Smith on drums and percussion. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $15 general admission ($10 for Members). Purchase tickets here.