CD Nice View (CD 176572),
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Nice View

  • 1. It Could Have Been a Lot Worse
    2. Third Rail, The
    3. Impacted Wisdom
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 9190682JMT

  • Credits
    ProducerStefan F. Winter; Tim Berne; Stefan F. Winter
    EngineerJoe Ferla; Adrian Von Ripka; Joe Ferla

    Tim Berne's Caos Totale/Tim Berne: Tim Berne; Herb Robertson, Marc Ducret, Steve Swell, Django Bates, Mark Dresser, Bobby Previte.
    Personnel: Tim Berne (alto saxophone); Marc Ducret (guitar); Herb Robertson (trumpet); Steve Swell (trombone); Django Bates (horns, piano, keyboards); Mark Dresser (double bass); Bobby Previte (drums).
    Audio Mixer: Adrian von Ripka.
    Recording information: Power Station, New York, NY (08/1993-08/1993).
    Photographer: Robert Lewis .
    Berne calls this band Caos Totale, and if it doesn't quite achieve that lofty goal, it comes close enough to provide a fine mix of rich, involved compositions and lusty, almost rockish, improvisations. One of Berne's songwriting trademarks has been lengthy pieces (often exceeding 30 minutes) with multiple themes that emerge and disappear in an organic but unpredictable way, and this is clearly on view here. Pieces begin in one place but invariably end in another area entirely, but the ride is quite scenic. Berne's band is remarkably strong and imaginative, bolstered for this occasion by Django Bates on keyboards. There a few rhythm teams more powerful than Dresser and Previte, and they propel this ensemble mightily, especially when the groove becomes Mingusian and bluesy which, happily, is often the case. Guitarist Marc Ducret is given the lead much of the time and his noise-oriented playing is the perfect complement to the surging, breathing quality of the pieces. But things always come back to Berne's compositions. Each has its own character, each tells a story and takes as much time as necessary to ensure the story is told with the proper level of detail. In many ways, Berne seems to pick up on groundwork laid by his teacher, the great composer/saxophonist Julius Hemphill, and takes things to the next stage, walking the fine line between deep composition and inspired improvisation. One of Berne's best efforts. ~ Brian Olewnick

  • Critic Reviews
    Down Beat (12/94, p.48) - 4 Stars - Very Good Plus - "...packs two albums worth of strong, challenging material onto one CD....[NICE VIEW] incorporate[s] more melodic and rhythmic material...without compromising the unpredictable and episodic qualities of his compositions..."
    Option (11-12/94, p.100) - "...Tim Berne constructs his multi-layered jazzmatazz in a way that summons the ghosts of Anton Bruckner and Duke Ellington....Caos Totale...continue to execute shifting meters, constantly intriguing harmonic schemes, and daring cliff-hanging solos with ease..."
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