Friday, March 27, 2009

Souls Saved Hear...

I was lucky to see Tim Berne’s Acoustic Hardcell (with Craig Taborn on piano and Tom Rainey on drums) a couple of years ago. I also got an opportunity to talk to him after the show. The music was exciting and the conversation intelligent.

He’s a very smart individual with a wicked sense of humour who is strongly influenced by Julius Hemphill. He’s a survivor in the world of jazz and improvised music. He’s started two different record labels (Empire and Screwgun) as well as having recorded on several major jazz labels such as Columbia, Soulnote, JMT and Thirsty Ear.

My first Tim Berne listening experience came with his 1987 album Fulton Street Maul because Bill Frisell and Hank Roberts were on the recording. I’d only ever seen Berne’s name in print but, as has been the case so many times, I figured if Bill Frisell and Hank Roberts were on it I’d have to love it. I did.

I’ve listened to Tim Berne’s music for decades and have never been bored or disappointed by what I heard. More than his sax playing, I am constantly drawn to his compositions. His music is wholly unique and engaging.
This concert took place at Barbes in Brooklyn, New York in 2003. The trio is made up of Berne on alto and baritone saxes, Larry Grenadier on bass, and Tom Rainey on drums. The concert is made of two 30 minute + pieces that are unnamed. Listen to it here. Listen at the end when Tim reminds the audience that he has CDs for sale on the stage. I bought some when I saw him…



  1. I'm not a know-all but on the photo there is Craig Taborn, Tom Rainey and Tim Berne. No Larry Grenadier

  2. Yeah, I know. Sorry about that. I tried to find a shot of Berne and Rainey with Grenadier but to no avail. I figured I started the post with a story about that trio I'd end it with them, too. Good catch!