|Born||October 16, 1954|
Syracuse, New York, U.S.
|Labels||Empire, Soul Note, Columbia, JMT, Screwgun, Thirsty Ear, ECM, Intakt|
Tim Berne (born October 16, 1954)is an American avant-garde jazz saxophonist and record label owner. His primary instruments are the alto and baritone saxophones.
Berne was born in Syracuse, New York, United States.He has said that he had no interest in playing an instrument until he attended Lewis & Clark College in Oregon. Hearing the album Dogon A.D. (1972) by Julius Hemphill turned his attention toward jazz. He was a fan of rhythm and blues, and it seemed to him that Hemphill was playing jazz with the soulfulness of R&B. In 1974, he went to New York to find Hemphill, who gave him saxophone lessons and advice on how to manage his career. Berne started the record label Empire in 1979.
For Empire, he recorded four albums with avant-garde jazz musicians such as John Carter, Alex Cline, Nels Cline, Olu Dara, Vinny Golia, Paul Motian, and Ed Schuller.His next two albums appeared on Soul Note in the early 1980s. In these sessions he worked with Motian, Schuller, Ray Anderson, Herb Robertson and others. He then got a contract with Columbia and recorded with Robertson, Hank Roberts, Bill Frisell and others. During this time he also recorded a duo album with Frisell and two albums with John Zorn. After two albums with Columbia, he signed with JMT, a label known for avant-garde jazz.
In the 1990s, he recorded in the trio, Miniature, with Roberts and Joey Baron,and in the band Caos Totale with Django Bates, Mark Dresser, Marc Ducret, Steve Swell, and Bobby Previte. He led a trio with Michael Formanek and Jim Black, then added Chris Speed to form the quartet Bloodcount (which was occasionally a quintet with the addition of Ducret). PolyGram bought JMT and closed it. This motivated Berne to start Screwgun Records as the outlet for his albums.
Screwgun's first release was a 3-disc set by Bloodcount called Unwound , the music of which exemplified Berne's characteristic style of "explod[ing] the walls of traditional compositional form: instead of adhering to anything remotely resembling theme and variations, he intersperses thematic material–sometimes repeated, elongated, or truncated–with the careening pleasures of free improvisation."During the late 1990s he continued to perform with Bloodcount, formed Paraphrase, a trio with Drew Gress and Tom Rainey, and Big Satan, a trio with Ducret and Rainey.
In the early 2000s, Berne formed several groups, including the trio Hard Cell with Rainey and Craig Taborn, and the quartet Science Friction (Berne, Ducret, Rainey,and Taborn). He also collaborated with members of The Bad Plus for the project Buffalo Collision, with Nels Cline of Wilco for the critically acclaimed album The Veil in 2011,and with David Torn on several projects and recordings.
Berne formed the band Snakeoil with Matt Mitchell, Oscar Noriega, and Ches Smith, which released a self-titled album in 2012, and six more recordings, with slight personnel changes, over the next decade. During this time, he has also recorded with members of The Bad Plus as Broken Shadows, and in duos with several musicians. In 2023 he released Oceans And with Hank Roberts and Aurora Nealand.
Recently albums by other musicians interpreting Berne's music have begun to appear. These include Førage by Matt Mitchell, Koi by Gregg Belisle-Chi, and Palm Sweat by Marc Ducret.
With ARTE Quartet
With Gregg Belisle-Chi
With Big Satan
With Broken Shadows
With Buffalo Collision
With Caos Totale
With Bruno Chevillon
With Marilyn Crispell
With Michael Formanek
With Bill Frisell
With Matt Mitchell
With Aurora Nealand and Hank Roberts
With Hank Roberts
With Herb Robertson, Marc Ducret and the Copenhagen Art Ensemble
With Science Friction
With Nasheet Waits
With Ray Anderson
With Nels Cline
With Marc Ducret
With Enten Eller
With Umberto Petrin
With Jazzophone Compagnie
With Simon Fell
With Figure 8
With Michael Formanek
With Vinny Golia
With Drew Gress
With Mark Helias
With Julius Hemphill
With Ingrid Laubrock
With Mr. Rencore
With Ivo Perelman
With Hank Roberts
With Herb Robertson
With Samo Salamon & Tom Rainey
With George Schuller
With Ches Smith
With Spring Heel Jack
With David Torn, Craig Taborn, and Tom Rainey
With David Torn and Ches Smith
With Stefan Winter
With Yōsuke Yamashita
With John Zorn
Jim Black is an American jazz drummer who has performed with Tim Berne and Dave Douglas. He attended Berklee College of Music.
Screwgun Records is a jazz record label founded by saxophonist Tim Berne in 1996. Most releases on the label have been by Berne, though some have been by Berne's associates and bandmates. Steve Byram has designed and illustrated the artwork for many of the label's albums.
Hank Roberts is an American jazz cellist and vocalist. He plays the electric cello, and his style is a mixture of rock, jazz, avant-garde, folk, and classical influences. He emerged with the downtown New York City jazz scene of the 1980s and is associated with its post-modern tendencies.
Chris Speed is an American saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer.
Clarence "Herb" Robertson is a jazz trumpeter and flugelhornist. He was born in New Jersey and attended the Berklee School of Music. He has recorded solo albums and has worked as a sideman for Tim Berne, Anthony Davis, Bill Frisell, George Gruntz, Paul Motian, Bobby Previte, and David Sanborn.
Tom Rainey is an American jazz drummer.
Mark Feldman is an American jazz violinist.
Gerald Cleaver is a jazz drummer from Detroit, Michigan.
Michael Formanek is an American jazz bassist born in San Francisco, California, United States, and associated with the jazz scene in New York.
Drew Gress is an American jazz double-bassist and composer born in Trenton, New Jersey and raised in the Philadelphia area.
Big Satan is an American jazz ensemble headed by composer and alto saxophonist Tim Berne, featuring drummer Tom Rainey and electric guitarist Marc Ducret. Rainey and Ducret are regular Berne collaborators, and both contribute compositions as well.
Marc Ducret is a contemporary avant-garde jazz guitarist who frequently collaborates with saxophonist Tim Berne.
Lowlife: The Paris Concert is a live album by saxophonist Tim Berne's Bloodcount which was recorded in 1994 and released on the JMT label.
Memory Select: The Paris Concert is a live album by saxophonist Tim Berne's Bloodcount and third volume of the series which was recorded in 1994 and released on the JMT label. It was the last album to be released on the label.
Poisoned Minds: The Paris Concert is a live album by saxophonist Tim Berne's Bloodcount and second volume of the series which was recorded in 1994 and released on the JMT label.
Unwound is a live 3-CD set by saxophonist Tim Berne's Bloodcount which was recorded in 1996 and released on Berne's Screwgun label. The album was the label's first release following the demise of Berne's previous label JMT Records.
Seconds is a live 2-CD set by saxophonist Tim Berne's Bloodcount which was recorded in 1997 and packaged along with a documentary DVD which was recorded in 1994 and released on Berne's Screwgun label.
Science Friction is a studio album by saxophonist Tim Berne which was recorded in 2001 and released on Berne's Screwgun label.
The Sublime And is a live double album by saxophonist Tim Berne's Science Friction which was recorded in Switzerland in 2003 and originally released on the Thirsty Ear label. The album was rereleased in 2007 along with Berne's 2002 Science Friction album as part of the Screwgun Records compilation Mind Over Friction.
Joseph Branciforte is an American musician, composer, record producer, and Grammy-winning recording engineer. He is the founder of the greyfade record label.