Intakt CD 374 / 2022





Gustav Mahler's observation that “tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire” used as the epigraph to David Torn's liner note is stimulating. Rather than remnants or mellowness think 'Mars' as in part of Interstellar Space, one of the greatest duo albums in existence, and perhaps in years to come this album with any luck will be seen as a duo classic of the 21st century. Of course there is no direct connection here (the style isn't ''multi-directional'') other than a shared planet plucked from the universe and both albums' avant farsightedness. Something of a shared aesthetic in a conjuring of the freedom principle however undoubtedly applies.

Marlbank, Dec 23 2021 (EN)


Mars inspires. That blood-red eye orbiting the sun this side of Jupiter served as a muse for Gustav Holtz in the Mars portion of his Planets Suite (1916); H.G Wells conjured giant three-legged machines from Mars, wielding death rays and attempting to destroy the Earth; Edgar Rice Burroughs sent John Carter to Barsoom (Mars), where the protagonist met and fell in love with the lovely Princess Dejah Thoris; and Kim Stanley Robinson described a Red Mars (Spectra, 1993), as a cold, arid, red rock of a world explored by Earth astronauts, a dead place which, in his Mars Trilogy, undergoes a life-giving terraforming which turns the Red Planet green; and ultimately, with the trilogy's final novel, Blue Mars (Spectra, 1997), transforms the planet into a near Earth-like place, with liquid water, rivers and seas.

Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz, Dec 31 2021 (EN)


Hiroki Sugita, Japan Jazz Magazine, Vol.138, Feb 2021 (JP)

Hiroki Sugita, Japan Jazz Magazine, Vol.138, Feb 2021 (JP)


Der am Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle geschulte Gitarrist GREGG BELISLE-CHI hat mittlerweile in Brooklyn auf sich aufmerksam gemacht mit I Sang to You and the Moon (einem Songzyklus nach Carl Sandburg), Book of Hours, Ensō und im Spiel mit Ben Gold­berg, insbesondere jedoch mit „Koi: Performing the Music of Tim Berne“ (Relative Pitch Records, 2021), trotz des üblen Zustands seiner 1970s Takamine lawsuit guitar ziseliert aus etwa „Angel Dusk“ und „Science Friction“. Dieses Hervorkehren der fragilen und poetischen Substanz von TIM BERNEs Musik, die mit Nels Cline, Bill Frisell, David Torn, Mary Halvorson, vor allem jedoch Marc Ducret zuvor nur den Reiz von E-Gitarren ausge­kostet hat, mit akustischer Gitarre führte prompt zum Zusammenschluss der beiden, on tour und mit Mars (Intakt CD 374) als neuem Programm. Mit ''Rose Bowl Charade' und Purdy' mehr oder weniger von „Spider“ und 'Palm Sweat' von „Sacred Vowels“, wohl weil Bernes Spiel mit Matt Mitchell einen idealen Blueprint für Belisle-Chi darstellt, und mit 'Middle Seat Blues' und 'Giant Squids' im Koi-Pool landend. Doch dazwischen mit neuem Berne-Stoff, der in David Torns Ohren nicht alien, sondern erdverbunden klingt. Elemen­tar wie Fire Music, aber in stiller Glut und mit kleiner Flamme züngelnd. In bedachtsamem Saitenspiel und unerschöpflich lyrischen Windungen und Wendungen. Schon auch mit ostinatem und bisweilen rauem Duktus oder auf unprahlerische Weise virtuos. Schon mal mit dickem Daumen, der als Fliege mit dem Kopf durchs Fensterglas will, mit melodieseli­gen Lippen, die schönste Töne arschüberkopf auf Wolke 7 hoppeln lassen. Bernes Motive kommen unisono wie gestochen daher, bei 'Dark Shadows' ist die Melancholie ein Keller­kind, das sich auf Zehenspitzen ins Lichte reckt, aber seinen Schatten oder die bluesigen Erinnerungen ans Kindsein ums Verrecken nicht missen möchte. Über 'Not What You Think They Are' müsste man Bände schreiben, aber eigentlich spielt alles auf gleich hohem Niveau, mit 'Giant Squids' als ornette'schem Schlussakzent. [BA 113 rbd]

Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy Newsletter, Dec 2021 (DE)


Quando si sente parlare di chitarre in un disco jazz, spesso si storce il naso. Quando poi, invece di sentir solo parlare, si sente la chitarra suonare, allora il discorso cambia. Quasi sempre cambia in meglio, forse perché il chitarrista conosce le difficoltà a cui sta andando incontro e sa che lo sposalizio tra “chitarra” e “jazz” potrebbe essere problematico, con qualche grandiosa eccezione che porta i nomi di Django Reinhardt, Franco Cerri, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell e una manciata di altri musicisti. A questi nomi celeberrimi e a qualche altra decina, possiamo ora aggiungere anche il nome del giovane chitarrista newyorkese Gregg Belisle-Chi, astro nascente della chitarra acustica e profondo conoscitore della musica di Tim Berne e, va da sé, che allora questo matrimonio “s’aveva da fare”. Ci ha pensato David Torn ad officiare il rito, ovvero produrre questo magnifico disco, dal titolo Mars.

Mario Grella, Off Topic Magazine, Jan 22 2022 (IT)


An exciting sound and impressive improvisatory qualities are offered on Mars, the first duo album by Tim Berne, a jaw-drop alto player and composer, and Gregg Belisle-Chi, an up-and-coming guitarist who, playing acoustic, is reinventing the jazz as we know it. The latter, a confessed admirer of Berne, released a solo album last year - Koi (Relative Pitch Records, 2021) - in which he interpreted pieces by the saxophonist. Here, they present a sophisticated menu with 12 Berne originals, and the result is less abstract than the above mentioned recording as it is easier for the listener to place the two instruments in context and grasp a more defined sense of direction.

Filipe Freitas, Jazz Trail, Jan 20 2022 (EN)


Stimulated by the recent emergence of a champion of his music, Tim Berne has made an album that pairs the longtime saxophonist, composer and bandleader with that champion, guitarist Gregg Belisle-Chi. Mars is the latest addition to Berne’s ginormous catalog but a rare one where he’s in a sax/guitar duet.

                The very idea of Tim Berne pairing up one-on-one with a guitarist is actually an old one. Back when both have just begun to gain notice from the jazz community, he and Bill Frisell recorded Theoretically (1984), a true collaboration where each have roughly equally contributed songs. A spacious, textural-heavy record made at a point where both artists were still finding their way but were already making very interesting music that disregarded the trends of the time. Theoretically has held up fine and is well worth seeking out.
                Mars, though, is exclusively about Berne’s now-sharpened vision through the lens of the music’s creator alongside a former Frisell protégé who’s become Berne’s most articulate interpreter in Gregg Belisle-Chi.

S. Victor Aaron, Something Else, Jan 16 2022 (EN)


Un disque très singulier, et qui frappe dès les premières notes par l'excellence de la composition comme de l'interprétation-improvisation. Le guitariste Gregg Belisle-Tchi avait enregistré en 2020 un disque en solo consacré aux compositions de Tim Berne («Koi», Screwgun Records). Il est cette fois son partenaire pour un duo, sur des compositions du saxophoniste, arrangées conjointement. Comme toujours, les thèmes de Tim Berne nous embarquent dans des lignes vertigineuses d'une absolue rigueur. Et comme toujours on se demande comment cette indiscutable rigueur peut contenir, et produire, autant de liberté : liberté d'interprétation, liberté d'expression, ou plutôt d'expressivité. David Torn, producteur artistique de la séance, commente dans le livret du CD : «Musique de l'espace ? Non. Musique terrienne ? Oui, vraiment. Folk Music ? Je ne sais pas...». Et pourtant à l'écoute, renouvelée, attentive, c'est bien cette dernière hypothèse qui va prévaloir. Une sorte de Folk Music du futur, imprégnée des libertés tonales de la musique dite contemporaine, et irradiée, d'un bout à l'autre, d'un lyrisme qui ne désempare pas. Il y a même une espèce de blues dévoyé. Magnifiquement beau, d'une beauté neuve, comme en distille si souvent Tim Berne. À découvrir avec le degré d'attention et de réceptivité qui s'impose. Et pour ce qui me concerne, avec une sorte d'émerveillement.

Xavier Prévost, Over Blog, Jan 16 2022 (FR)


A famous phrase by Gustav Mahler, 'tradition is not the cult of ashes but the custody of fire', we read in the booklet of the new album made by Tim Berne in tandem with guitarist Gregg Belisle-Chi: Mars (Intakt). Obviously he is always at altosax, never been a multi-instrumentalist. The same phrase could be transferred to the booklet of the new album signed by pianist Alexander Hawkins: Break a Vase(Intakt). Berne's program is clear. It is about coming to terms with tradition while continuing to look forward, if possible. But what tradition are we talking about here? That of a very advanced jazz but recognizable as a classic. The discourse on tradition is a bit complicated to clarify in this case. References to folk, early jazz, baroque or romantic music? Zero. Traditional, if you want to call it that, is this Berne compared to his solo standard that would be avant-garde? Uhm. He is clearly interested in a certain songwriting and ballad-form. But they are all relative things.

Mario Gamba, Il Manifesto online, Jan 2022 (IT)


Stefan Pieper, Jazzthetik Magazine, Jan 2022 (DE)

Stefan Pieper, Jazzthetik Magazine, Jan 2022 (DE)


A very mixed bag this time out with samplings from new releases by pianists Matthew Shipp (with drummer Whit Dickey), Australian Alister Spence with some European mates and Marta Sanchez; also new are releases from Tim Berne with guitarist Gregg Belisle-Chi and Irish alto player Adam Nolan. You'll also hear music from some very interesting musicians from Argentina, and as this show marks the 10th anniversary of One Man's Jazz joining Taint Radio, I reminisce a bit with tunes from the first show to wrap up this edition.

Maurice Hogue, All About Jazz, Feb 09 2022 (EN)


Med sin svært omfattende CV, er Tim Berne en av de fremste musikerne innenfor den amerikanske jazzen. Den stigende stjernen Gregg Belisle-Chi, er en kjenner av Bernes musikk, som i fjor ga ut albumet «Koi», med sine egne tolkninger av Tim Bernes komposisjoner på akustisk sologitar. Han blir regnet som en av de virkelig store når det er snakk om moderne akustisk gitar, og er en musiker vi kommer til å høre mye fra i tiden som kommer.

Jan Granlie, Salt Peanuts, Jan 18 2022 (NO)


Met zijn uitgebreide artistieke biografie behoort altsaxofonist Tim Berne tot een van de meest opmerkelijke figuren in de Amerikaanse jazz. Gitarist Gregg Belisle-Chi, een kenner van Berne’s muziek heeft dit jaar het goed ontvangen album Koi uitgebracht met composities van Tim Berne op solo akoestische gitaar . Met dit album “Mars” presenteren beiden hun eerste duo album. Alle composities zijn van Tim Berne. Het album komt in mijn oren bijna over als een solo album van Tim Berne want het zachte geluid van de akoestische gitaar van Belisle-chi klinkt eigenlijk als een soort ondersteuning van de saxofoon.

Jan van leersum, Roots Time, Jan 01 2022 (DE)


Mars is the latest brainchild of veteran avant-garde alto saxophonist Tim Berne, released on the always impressive and boundary-pushing Swiss label Intakt Records. Berne’s career has been characterised by the relentless originality of both his own alto playing and the groups that he leads, prompting the New York Times to remark that ‘few musicians working in or around jazz over the last 30 years have developed an idiomatic signature more distinctive than Tim Berne’. He is perhaps best known for his quartet Snakeoil, whose 2012 album on ECM was noted for its illusory blurring of the boundary between improvised and written material.

Sam Norris, London Jazz News, Jan 27 2022 (EN)


Mars is the latest brainchild of veteran avant-garde alto saxophonist Tim Berne, released on the always impressive and boundary-pushing Swiss label Intakt Records. Berne’s career has been characterised by the relentless originality of both his own alto playing and the groups that he leads, prompting the New York Times to remark that ‘few musicians working in or around jazz over the last 30 years have developed an idiomatic signature more distinctive than Tim Berne’. He is perhaps best known for his quartet Snakeoil, whose 2012 album on ECM was noted for its illusory blurring of the boundary between improvised and written material.

Gerd Filtgen, Stereo Magazine, Mar 2022 (DE)


Tim Berne is, for most jazz fans, primarily thought of as a saxophonist, improviser and bandleader and only secondarily as a tunesmith or composer. But the quality of his groups and records comes directly out of his composing and though that may be subsumed for a lot of listeners, musicians hear it. In 2017, Matt Mitchell released FØRAGE, piano interpretations of Berne’s pieces, and now comes Gregg Belisle-Chi with the beautiful Koi, Berne played on solo guitar.

George Grella, The New York City Jazz Record, 2022 (EN)


Es gibt nicht viele Duos in der Besetzung Saxophon/Gitarre. Warum nur? – fragt man sich. Bestes Beispiel für die Substanz, die Ästhetik und das sich gegenseitige Inspirieren dieser beiden Instrumente ist die vorliegende Aufnahme. Der Amerikaner Tim Berne und der Kanadier Gregg Belisle-Chi finden im Dialog aussagekräftig zueinander, auch wenn sie, was allein den Sound betrifft, doch weit voneinander entfernt scheinen. Und an dieser Stelle kommt die vierte, vielleicht wichtigste Komponente ins Spiel, jene, die sich für den Erfolg dieser Besetzung letztendlich verantwortlich zeichnet: Die jeweilige Persönlichkeit beider Instrumentalisten. Auf „Mars“ stimmt die Chemie, könnte man es knapp auf den Punkt bringen.

Jörg Konrad, KultKomplott, Jan 14 2022 (DE)


In Anlehnung an das inzwischen
                legendäre Zitat: „Tradition ist nicht
                die Anbetung der Asche, sondern die
                Weitergabe des Feuers, das unter
                anderen auch Gustav Mahlers Feder
                zugeschrieben wird, und beim Ver-
                such, die Musik auf Mars zu kon-
                textualisieren, erweitert der Gitarrist
                David Torn in den der CD beigelegten
                Liner Notes den zugrundeliegenden
                Gedanken mit der Paraphrase: Tra-
                dition? Es scheint, als würde Feuer
                weitergegeben werden, während
                neue entfacht werden.

Pat Youngspiel, Concerto Magazine, Feb 2022 (DE)


Von seinem Mentor Julius Hemphill wurde Tim Ber.
                ne von Beginn animiert, seine Musikideen auch
                aufzuschreiben. Berne ist darum als Erfinder mo-
                derner Themen ebenso bedeutend geworden wie
                als Improvisator. An seine zahlreichen Stücke ha-
                ben sich aber erst wenige aussenstehende Musi-
                ker/-innen gewagt. Der junge kanadisch-chinesi-
                sche Gitarrist Gregg Belisle - mit schneller Auffas-
                sungsgabe und technisch wie improvisatorisch un-
                erschrocken - ist einer davon. Mit der akustischen
                Gitarre hat er vor Kurzem schon für sein Album
                'Koi' in Solo-Adaptionen knifflige Themen Bernes
                aufgenommen. Noch fordernder geht es nun im
                Duo mit dem Schöpfer der Stücke auf 'Mars'

Jürg Solothurnmann, N'More Magazine (DE)


Dopo le ottime prove con gli Snake-
				oil e il quartetto Broken Shadows,
				Tim Berne riduce gli effettivi e si
				concentra in un duetto con il chitar-
				rista acustico Gregg Belisle-Chi,
				giovanotto di belle speranze autore
				già di un'incisione ('Koi') in cui ri-
				prendeva vari temi del sassofonista.
				È un dialogo serrato, conciso, carat-
				terizzato dai saliscendi e dagli im-
				provvisi di Berne così come dalle ri-
				sposte in tempo reale di Belisle-Chi,
				affermativo e dinamico negli inter-
				venti. La sua non è una presenza
				accessoria e anche se l'altista pare
				dominare la scena in misura mag-
				giore si finisce ben presto per ten-
				dere l'orecchio verso la controparte,
				che per forze di cose si ritrova a
				prodursi a un livello di volume un
				gradino inferiore. In contraddizione
				al titolo non è musica per volare su
				Marte, ma basta e avanza per stare
				bene sulla terra.

Blow Up Magazine No. 285, March 2022 (IT)


L’idée de retrouver Tim Berne en duo avec un guitariste n’est pas pour nous déplaire. Son compagnon du jour se nomme Gregg Belisle-Chi.  Ce dernier, influencé par Bill Frisell, Ben Monder, Marc Ducret ou David Torn (tiens tiens : tous des familiers de Tim Berne) connait bien l’univers de l’altiste. Pour preuve le disque Koi, publié il y a un an et reprenant en solo quelques-unes des compositions de ce dernier.

Luc Bouquet, Jazzin, Feb 21 2022 (FR)


Der Titel dieses Duo-Albums
        mag vielleicht auf eine falsche
        Fährte locken. Denn »Mars«
        führt nicht in die Weiten des
        Universums, orientiert sich nicht
        an Space-Music (im Sinne eines
        Sun Ra etwa) oder an Sonic

Udo Andris, Jazz Podium Magazine, March 2022 (DE)


I feel like this duet recording is closing a thesis-antithesis-synthesis loop. In May 2020 Tim Berne released his first solo recording, Sacred Vowels. In June 2021 Gregg Belisle-Chi released Koi: Performing the Music of Tim Berne. A few months ago, I interviewed Belisle-Chi , and he told me that he and Berne had just recorded a duet—which is what we’re reviewing now. A nice arc or circle, but I hope not a closed one, because I’m going to want more music like this.

Gary Chapin, The Free Jazz Collective, March 07 2022 (EN)


Tim Berne is a cottage industry of his own design. Fiercely independent and self-determinant, he’s exercised admirable autonomy and agency over his career and output across four decades. Berne’s also been famously averse to providing promotional copies of entries from his voluminous catalog over the years. The exceptions to that rule are the occasions when he cedes those concerns to labels other than his own Screwgun imprint. Mars is a recent example of such capitulation, released on the Swiss Intakt imprint and combining his itinerant, incisive alto with the acoustic guitar of Brooklyn-based Gregg Belisle-Chi.

Derek Taylor, Dusted Magazine, March 03 2022 (EN)


Tim Berne has long been a composer whose lines are instantly recognizable, whether heard on his own alto saxophone or from another instrumentalist. They snake here and there, they morph in and out of composed or improvised sections. Berne has long favored guitarists in his band, from Nels Cline and Bill Frisell to Marc Ducret and David Torn. That’s some pretty heavy company.

Jason Bivins, Point Of Departure, March 2022 (EN)


On this weeks show an eclectic selection of brand new releases from Michael Weiss, Ron Ledoux, Tim Berne & Gregg Belisle-Chi, Hello Cacus!, Luneta Freedom Jazz Collective, In Real Time, Adam Shead and Manuel Valera New Cuban Express Big Band.

World of Jazz 477, Different Noises, Feb 20 2022 (EN)


Ennesimo album di Tim Berne, uno dei tanti pubblicati dalla favolosa etichetta svizzera Intakt Records. L’altosassofonista dell’avanguardia newyorkese stavolta però, con questo Mars, si presenta in duo con un chitarrista, un giovane e suo grande estimatore, Gregg Belisle-Chi, che solo l’anno scorso, anzi pochi mesi fa, verso la fine del 2021, aveva dedicato proprio a Berne un intero progetto, dal titolo Koi: Performing The Music Of Tim Berne, in cui ha suonato, in solo con chitarra acustica, le sue composizioni. Anche in questo Mars le composizioni sono tutte a firma di Berne, ma l’approccio negli arrangiamenti è quello di una condivisione col suo sodale chitarrista le cui armonie sostengono notevolmente le intricate e sinuose linee melodiche del sassofono. Forse era dai tempi del duo sperimentale con Bill Frisell degli anni ’80, che Berne non compariva soltanto assieme ad un chitarrista; nel 2021 aveva dedicato un intero progetto ad Ornette Coleman, dal titolo Broken Shadows, pubblicato sempre dalla Intakt, che riproponeva lo stile colemaniano nell’intersezione di due sax, l’alto di Berne appunto e il tenore di Chris Speed che sostituisce la tromba di Don Cherry. Lo stile di Coleman ritorna con evidenza anche in Mars nella penultima traccia, Middle Seat Blues, ma in tutto l’album Berne segue una linea propria, uno stile sempre autentico ed un suono di grande potenza, sotto il cui spessore si allargano le maglie delle tessiture armoniche costruite da Belisle-Chi, che nell’esposizione dei temi diventa invece una formidabile eco cameristica del sax. Altro elemento di forza è la supervisione dell’amico chitarrista David Torn, che ne ha curato missaggio e mastering. Un album di ascolto non semplice perché potrebbe sembrare un po’ ridondante di primo acchito, ma che è in verità un momento musicale di grande intensità.

Salvatore, Frastuoni, March 13 2022 (IT)


BERNE / BEILISLE-CHI marsI ntakt Tim Berne (as), Gregg Belisle-Chi (g)
        Dass Tim Berne seit Jahrzehnten eine unverzichtbare Größe in der US-Jazzszeneist, weiß man. Gitarrist Gregg Belisle-Chi dürfte hierzulande aber weniger bekanntsein.   Der   1990   in   Kanada   geborene,   mittlerweile   in   Brooklyn   lebende   Sohnchinesischer Einwanderer hat mit dem Altsaxofonisten eine ungewöhnlich lyrische,fast melodienselige Duo-CD eingespielt. Mit Tim Berne ist er vertraut, hat er dochim Vorjahr auf Screwgun schon eine Platte mit dessen Musik auf akustischerGitarre   solo   herausgebracht.   Diesmal   spielt   Berne   auch   selbst   mit,   ziehtausschließlich auf dem Altsaxofon sorgfältige, fast mit Bedacht gesetzte Linien.

Haun, Freistil Magazine, March 2022 (DE)


Two years ago, after decades of creating rigorous melodies that solidified his rep as one of jazz’s most progressive figures, Tim Berne challenged himself to come up with pithier themes. At home during the first months of the pandemic, he recorded comparatively compact pieces such as “Chicken Salad Blues” and “Mirth of the Cool” that showed up on his first-ever solo album, Sacred Vowels. Impressive in both conception and execution, the tunes offered a bit more poignancy and a tad more clarity than the serpentine works of his extensive songbook. To a degree, they wore their heart on their sleeve. Just after this, Gregg Belisle-Chi applied himself to scad of Berne tunes in a solo setting on the album Koi. Using an acoustic instrument, the guitarist revealed a side of the 67-year-old Berne’s work that had been previously shrouded. The performances were delicate, delightful, and mildly revelatory. It was as if Belisle-Chi could see something about the music that a sizable throng of fans had missed all those years. Arriving on the heels of Sacred Vowels, it cast a new light on the saxophonist and his work. Now comes Mars, their duet album of more Berne material. From Nels Cline to Bill Frisell to Marc Ducret to David Torn, Berne has collaborated with some of the most inventive guitarists around. This new 12-track program suggests that he’s chosen another wily mate. The conversations they shared while discussing the architecture of Koi have nurtured a bond that’s unmistakable on these miniature investigations (most pieces range from three to four minutes). “Big Belly” finds them taking coordinated, if overtly different tacks. The guitarist chips and slashes; the horn player glides and prances. “Rabbit Girl” is a bittersweet jewel, one of the most tender titles in the Berne book, and a tune that just may have Ornette’s “Kathelin Gray” as an antecedent. Like “Purdy” (done previously with the saxophonist’s other primary partner, Matt Mitchell) it finds the duo embracing romance, investing in the ethereal, and tilting towards splendor.

Jim Macnie, Lament For A Straight Line Music Blog, Feb 18 2022 (EN)


That Tim Berne’s name rings a bell to few outside a devoted coterie doesn’t make him any less of a jazz hero. Since putting down New York City roots, in 1974, this audacious alto saxophonist, composer, and bandleader has never strayed from a path of his own making, hewing to left-of-center forms and unfettered improvisation. Berne originally drew inspiration from such second-generation avant-gardists as Julius Hemphill; he’s now a patriarch of sorts to a new generation of similarly risk-taking players. United in a compact trio with the gifted drummer Nasheet Waits and the guitarist Gregg Belisle-Chi, Berne flaunts skills that are as passionate as they are exploratory.

Steve Futterman, The New Yorker, Apr 07 2022 (EN)


Since the 1980s, alto saxophonist/composer/
        record company micro-mogul Tim Berne has
        operated in multiple settings, releasing albums
        with prolific regularity and restlessly creative
        energy. Something relatively new is afoot with
        his new sax-acoustic guitar duet with Gregg
        Belisle-Chi, of the sort we haven’t heard since
        Berne’s fascinating and now hard-to-find 1984
        duet recording with Bill Frisell, Theoretically. Critical backstory: Nimble-fingered guitarist
        Belisle-Chi worked his way into Berne’s
        world via his impressive 2021 solo guitar album
        Koi, interpreting Berne’s music. Not surprisingly,
        given the guitarist’s sensitive approach
        to Berne’s musical language, they get along
        famously in a duet context. Conversation flows
        freely between them, with digressive chatter
        and contrapuntal spiciness in the mix to keep
        things lively.

Josef Woodard, Downbeat Magazine, May 2022 (EN)


Voici un album
        qui rend justice au lyrisme
        fondamental de la musique
        de Tim Berne. Toujours ce
        son de saxophone sans
        apprêt, mais des mélodies à
        tue-tête déroulées comme
        à l'infini sans jamais
        nous lasser, entretenant
        constamment note envie
        d'aller voir ce qui se passe
        au prochain tournant.

Franck Bergerot, Jazz Magazine, April 2022 (FR)


Chamber Jazz with a crisp filter, these collections of multiple brief tracks use contrast and cooperation to avoid the uniformity engendered when only a saxophone and guitar duo is involved. True to its title, Nine Improvisations for Sopranino and Guitar features the Italians, saxophonist Marco Colonna, who has played with Agustí Fernández; and electric guitarist Enzo Rocco, who has partnered Carlo Actis Dato. Saxophonist Tim Berne who leads a series of other bands, also composed Mars’ dozen selections. His partner here is fellow American acoustic guitarist Gregg Belisle-Chi, who has played with Cuong Vu among others. Often condensed, the tracks on both sets primarily have the saxophonist state the theme statement and work out variations while each guitarist’s comping providing the rhythmic backing and chromaticism.

Ken Waxman, JazzWord, May 08 2022 (EN)


Metrica sinuosa, traghettata nel mondo del minimalismo jazz. Tim Berne (Alto Saxophone) e Gregg Belisle-Chi (Guitar) disegnano in musica un patchwork vario che assorbe le loro linee astratte e melodiche. Bozzetti Impro. timbri free e una fedele riproposizione di schemi jazz su tessuti decisamente informali. Con la sua vasta biografia artistica, Tim Berne è una delle figure più importanti del jazz americano, la stella nascente Gregg Belisle-Chi con le sue vaste capacità e l'immenso potenziale sonoro. Dodici tracce tutte  scritte da Tim Berne, incantano l'ascoltatore con un'interazione intensa e giocosa. Avanguardia.

WIndout Magazine Facebook Page, May 19 2022 (IT)


Five years back,
        the circuitous
        melodic journeys
        and rhythmic
        contrariness of
        Tim Berne's music spawned a
        brilliant devotee in pianist Matt
        Mitchell, whose dedication to the
        New York one-off's composing
        insoired the remarkable
        solo-piano album of Berne
        interpretations, Forage.
        Last year, another quirkily
        gifted connoisseur turned up in
        the shape of young acoustic
        guitarist Gregg Belisle-Chi, with
        the comparably imaginative solo
        session Koi: Performing the Music
        of Tim Berne.

John Fordham, Jazzwise Magazine, May 2022 (EN)


Het klikt tussen Tim Berne
        en Intakt Records, het
        Zwitserse huis war hij
        recent blijft opduiken en dat
        sinds 1986 is uitgegroeid tot
        een instituut van de avon-
        tuurlijke jazz met een ijzer-
        sterke catalogus van intussen bijna 400 relea-
        ses. Het klikt overduidelijk ook tussen Berne
        en de jonge Aziatisch-Amerikaanse gitarist
        Gregg Belisle-Chi.

Guy Peters, Jazz'N'Mo Magazine, July 2022 (DE)


Après trois disques Intakt en des formules diverses, le saxophoniste-alto Tim Berne choisit le duo avec le guitariste Gregg Belisle-Chi. Ce jeune musicien avait enregistré des œuvres de Berne en solo, les deux “devaient” donc se rencontrer. Douze compositions du saxophoniste sont revues avec le guitariste et interprétées dans un format ramassé qui oblige à la concentration. Servi par un travail considérable sur l’instrument, le jeu somptueux de Tim Berne est superbement mis en valeur par celui, ciselé de la guitare acoustique. Une musique d’une grande pureté et de très haut niveau. « Mars  » (Intakt CD 374).

Jean Buzelin, Culture Jazz, Oct 11 2022 (FR)

back to top


Newsletter in English | Newsletter in German

Intakt Records Facebook icon

Digital Download Store

© 2020 Intakt Records | P.O. Box, 8024 Zürich, Switzerland | | +41 (0) 44 383 82 33