Matt Mitchell plays Tim Berne: førage - solo Piano
The compositions of iconic saxophonist/bandleader Tim Berne have earned renown for their intensely kinetic, dizzyingly intricate quality as performed around the world by his various groups over the past four decades. With the album førage – available digitally and on CD from Screwgun – listeners have the chance to experience Berne’s music as never before, in versions for solo piano. Virtuoso pianist Matt Mitchell, a member of Berne’s hit band Snakeoil, has explored the full range of the composer’s songbook. In fact, Berne says: “No one knows my music better than Matt.” On førage, Mitchell devises mash-ups of multiple compositions, improvises new angles off the music, and often slows it down to reveal heretofore hidden beauties – limpid harmonies and ruminative melodies, like dark pearls unspooled. Studio maestro David Torn – a longtime sonic co-conspirator with Berne, as well as producer of Mitchell’s past two albums – helmed the recording of førage. The cover artwork and distinctive CD package is by Steven Byram, who has worked hand in glove with Berne for decades (including the recent Screwgun publication of their joint art book, Spare).