Tim Berne

Born: October 16, 1954    Primary Instrument: Saxophone

Tim Berne

Tim Berne was born in Syracuse, New York in 1954, and was subjected to a perfectly normal childhood. But he didn't decide to take up music until nearly twenty years later when he was attending Lewis and Clark College in Oregon, putting most of his energy into intramural basketball. At this point, while resting a sore ankle in his dormitory, Berne encountered a saxophonist who was selling his alto, and bought it on impulse. “There was just something about the sound of the saxophone that got to me,” he says.

Musically, up to that point, Berne had always been motivated by all types of music, but especially by the great Stax artists like Sam and Dave and Johnnie Taylor, as well as Motown artists like Martha and the Vandellas and Gladys Knight. This passion for the soulful quality in music would follow him for the rest of his career, a career that he could not possibly foreseen at the time. “I hadn't listened to much jazz, but then I heard Julius Hemphill's album Dogon A.D., and that completely turned me around. It captured everything I liked in music. It had this Stax/R&B sensibility and it had this other wildness. It was incredible. That's when I started playing.”...
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As a leader

1979 - The Five Year Plan Empire
1980 - 7x Empire
1981 - Spectres Empire
1982 - Songs and Rituals in Real Time Empire
1983 - The Ancestors Soul Note
1984 - Mutant Variations Soul Note
1987 - Fulton Street Maul Columbia, reissued by Koch
1987 - Sanctified Dreams Columbia, reissued by Koch
1989 - Fractured Fairy Tales JMT
1991 - Caos Totale - Pace Yourself JMT
1993 - Diminutive Mysteries (mostly Hemphill) JMT
1994 - Caos Totale - Nice View JMT
1995 - Bloodcount: Lowlife JMT
1995 - Bloodcount: Poisoned Minds JMT
1995 - Bloodcount: Memory Select JMT
1996 - Bloodcount: Unwound Screwgun
1997 - Bloodcount: Discretion Screwgun
1997 - Bloodcount: Saturation Point Screwgun
1998 - Empire Box Screwgun
1999 - Paraphrase: Please Advise Screwgun
2001 - The Shell Game thirsty ear
2002 - Open, Coma Screwgun
2003 - Science Friction Screwgun
2003 - The Sevens new world

With Miniature
(Hank Roberts and Joey Baron)

1988 - Miniature JMT
1991 - I Can't Put My Finger on It JMT

As a co-leader

1986 - Theoretically (w/ Bill Frisell) Empire, reissued by Minor Music
1993 - Loose Cannon (w/ Michael Formanek & Jeff Hirshfield) Soul Note
1995 - Inference (w/ Marilyn Crispell) Music & Arts
1997 - Big Satan: I Think They Liked It, Honey (w/ Marc Ducret & Tom Rainey) Winter & Winter
1997 - Paraphrase: Visitation Rites (w/ Drew Gress & Tom Rainey) Screwgun
1998 - Ornery People (w/ Michael Formanek) Little Brother
1998 - Cause & Reflect (w/ Hank Roberts) Level Green
1999 - Paraphrase: Please Advise (w/ Drew Gress & Tom Rainey) Screwgun

As a sideman

1994 - Ray Anderson - Big Band Record Gramavision
1991 - The Bang - Omonimo Nueva
1988 - Nels Cline - Angelica Enja
1994 - Figure 8 (ROVA Saxophone Quartet + 4) - Pipe Dreams Black Saint
1992 - Michael Formanek - Extended Animation Enja
1994 - Michael Formanek - Low Profile Enja
1996 - Michael Formanek - Nature of the Beast Enja
1984 - Vinny Golia Large Ensemble - Compositions for Large Ensemble Nine Winds
1986 - Vinny Golia Large Ensemble - Facts of Their Own Lives Nine Winds
1985 - Mark Helias - Split Image Enja (out of print)
1987 - Mark Helias - The Current Set Enja
1994 - Julius Hemphill Sextet - Five Chord Stud Black Saint
1993 - Peter Herborn - Something Personal JMT
1991 - Lindsey Horner - Never No More Open Minds
1996 - Lee Hyla - We Speak Etruscan New World
1988 - Hank Roberts - Black Pastels JMT
1985 - Herb Robertson - Transparency JMT
1987 - Herb Robertson - X-Cerpts Live at Willisau JMT
1986 - John Zorn - The Big Gundown Elektra Nonesuch
1988 - John Zorn - Spy Vs. Spy - The Music of Ornette Coleman Elektra Musician
1986 - Various Artists - The Little Trumpet JMT

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