Tim Berne

Tim Berne

born on 16/10/1954 in Syracuse, NY, United States

Tim Berne

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Tim Berne

Tim Berne (born 1954) is an American jazz saxophone player and composer.

Described by critic Thom Jurek[1] as commanding "considerable power as a composer and ... frighteningly deft ability as a soloist," Berne has composed and performed prolifically since the 1980s. His mainstream success has been limitedBerne recorded two albums for Columbia Recordsbut Berne has released a significant body of work over the decades spanning dozens of critically acclaimed recordings.[2]


Though Berne was a music fan, he had no interest in playing a musical instrument until he was in college, when he purchased an alto saxophone. He was more interested in rhythm and blues music--Stax records releases and Aretha Franklin, especiallyuntil he heard Julius Hemphill's 1972 recording Dogon A.D. [3]

Hemphill was known for his integration of soul music and funk with free jazz. Berne moved to New York City in 1974. There Berne took lessons from Hemphill, and later recorded with him.[4]

In 1979, Berne founded Empire Records to release his own recordings. He recorded Fulton Street Maul and Sanctified Dreams for Columbia Records, which generated some discussion and controversy, due in part to the fact that Berne's music had little in common with the neo-tradionalist hard bop performers prominent in the mid-1980s. Some regarded Berne's music as uncommercial. In the late 1990s Berne founded Screwgun Records, which has released his own recordings, as well as others' music.

Beyond his recordings as a bandleader, Berne has recorded and/or performed with guitarist Bill Frisell, avant-garde composer/sax player John Zorn, violinist Mat Maneri, guitarist David Torn, cellist Hank Roberts, trumpet player Herb Robertson, the ARTE Quartett and as a member of the cooperative trio Miniature.

Recent years have found Berne performing in several different groups with drummers Tom Rainey and Gerald Cleaver, keyboardist Craig Taborn, bassists Michael Formanek and Drew Gress, guitarists Marc Ducret and David Torn, and reeds player Chris Speed.

He is one-third of the group BBC (Berne/Black/Cline) along with noted drummer Jim Black and Nels Cline of Wilco. The group released a critically acclaimed album called The Veil in 2011.[5]

Berne's complex, multi-section compositions are often quite lengthy; twenty to thirty minute pieces are not unusual. One critic has written that Berne's long songs "don't grow tiresome. The musicians are brilliantly creative and experienced enough not to get lost in all the room provided by these large time frames."[6]



  • 1979 The Five Year Plan
  • 1980 7X
  • 1981 Spectres
  • 1982 Songs and Rituals in Real Time
  • 1983 The Ancestors
  • 1983 Mutant Variations
  • 1983 Theoretically
  • 1986 Fulton Street Maul
  • 1988 Sanctified Dreams
  • 1989 Tim Berne's Fractured Fairy Tales
  • 1990 Pace Yourself
  • 1992 Diminutive Mysteries
  • 1993 Nice View
  • 1994 Lowlife - The Paris Concert One
  • 1994 Poisoned Minds - The Paris Concert Two
  • 1996 Memory Select - The Paris Concert Three
  • 1997 Unwound
  • 1997 Discretion
  • 1997 Saturation Point
  • 1997 I Think They Liked It Honey
  • 1998 Please Advise
  • 1998 Visitation Rites
  • 1998 Ornery People
  • 1998 Cause & Reflect
  • 2001 The Shell Game
  • 2001 Open, Coma
  • 2002 The Sevens
  • 2002 Science Friction
  • 2003 The Sublime And
  • 2004 Souls.Savedhear
  • 2004 Acoustic and Electric Hard Cell Live
  • 2005 Feign
  • 2005 Pre-Emptive Denial
  • 2005 Prezens with David Torn (ECM
  • 2006 Livein Cognito
  • 2007 Seconds
  • 2008 Duck
  • 2010 The Rub and Spare Change with Michael Formanek (ECM)
  • 2011 Insomnia
  • 2011 The Veil
  • 2012 Small Places with Michael Formanek (ECM)
  • 2012 Snakeoil (ECM)
  • 2013 Shadow Man (ECM)


  1. Tim Berne at All Music Guide
  2. Lynch, David. AllMusic Biography. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2012-12-25.
  3. Chapin, Gary. Diminutive Mysteries (Review). Retrieved on 2012-12-25.
  4. Chapin, Gary. Diminutive Mysteries (Review). Retrieved on 2012-12-25.
  5. [1]
  6. Layne, Joslyn. Discretion (review). Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved on 2008-08-21.

External links

  • Official Website
  • A 1998 interview
  • Another Interview
  • Extensive interview by Ethan Iverson
  • Discography
This page was last modified 29.03.2014 23:34:47

This article uses material from the article Tim Berne from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.