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BB and C - The Veil (Cryptogramophone, 2011)

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Tim Berne BB and C is a cooperative group consisting of alto saxophonist Tim Berne, drummer Jim Black and guitarist Nels Cline. This music is taken from a from a live recording at made at The Stone in New York City. This was a very exciting and continuously engaging album to listen to, moving between avant-garde squalls of noise and abstract passages of sound sculpture. The trio is very well integrated, but Nels Cline sounds particularly inspired, on a busman's holiday from the rock 'n' roll band Wilco where he also performs. The album opens with two extraordinary tracks, “Railroaded" and “Impairment Posse" which set the tone for the album with very strong and potent playing from all three instruments, with the full-frontal guitar and alto saxophone right up front and Black stoking the engine from behind. These performances hit hard with the best that “downtown" jazz and improvised music hast to offer. “Momento" and “Dawn of the Lawn" develop a little more slowly like a landscape painting evolving over time. The use of texture and dynamics comes to the forefront on these performances, as well as the patience to develop coherent improvisations at slower tempos. Things pick back up with “The Barbarella Syndrome," possibly referring to the odd but enjoyable science fiction movie starring Jane Fonda. The song picks up on some of the weirdness of the film's cinematography and soundtrack and channels them into a unique and compelling performance. After the atmospheric beauty of the title song “The Veil," the group ends their set with a two part suite Called “Tiny Movement." This brings everything together and touches on all of the diverse energy and dexterity that the group can muster and ends the performance to much deserved rousing applause. The Veil—amazon.com


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