Tim Berne: alto saxophone
Oscar Noriega: clarinet, bass clarinet
Matt Mitchell: piano and electronics
Ryan Ferreira: electric and acoustic guitars
Ches Smith: drums, vibraphone, percussion, timpani
Tim Berne’s third ECM album, You’ve Been Watching Me, sees the saxophonist-composer again leading his dynamic New York band Snakeoil, but now a quintet with the arrival of guitarist Ryan Ferreira, whose sound adds textural allure. The group’s 2013 release, Shadow Man, garnered Berne some of the highest praise of his career as a composer and bandleader. DownBeat said: “This music rocks and thinks, explores, deconstructs, and swings, in its own identifiably angular, Berne-ian way.” If Berne has hit a new peak with his writing on You’ve Been Watching Me, his band has reached a heightened state of collective interaction. Snakeoil can still be bracingly kinetic. But there is new space in these compositions and more lyrical focus to the improvisations, leading to a dramatic, even cinematic experience in such tracks as ‘Embraceable Me’. Berne’s music has never been richer or more arresting.