August 2007

Philadelphia Clef Club738 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $22 General Admission
Sponsored by:
Saturday, May 19, 2007 - 8:00pm

David Torn's Prezens

David Torn, el. guitar + live sampling
Tim Berne, alto saxophone
Michael Formanek, bass
Craig Taborn, Fender Rhodes
Tom Rainey, drums

Please join us as Ars Nova Workshop presents the record release celebration of David Torn's Prezens (ECM Records). David Torn's Prezens is a collision of the organic and the synthetic, of technology and physicality; it is the sound of something more real than simple reality. Torn's first recording for ECM since his watershed Cloud About Mercury of 20 years ago, Prezens features the influential guitarist, studio sage and film composer in league with three of New York City's more fearless improvising musicians -- alto saxophonist Tim Berne, keyboardist Craig Taborn and drummer Tom Rainey, longtime cohorts of each other. For more details on the new recording, download the press release <>.

David Torn (a.k.a. "splattercell") is a film composer, texturalist, guitarist, and produce of international stature, renowned for his unique musical voice which seems to span a broad range of idioms and styles. His characterful and compositionally textural work has had material impact and influence upon both film scoring - through his own scores, in addition to his creative contributions to the scores of Carter Burwell, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Howard Shore, Mark Isham, and others - and, generally, upon contemporary electric, electro-acoustic & electronic music. In addition to the medium of film scoring, David's creative contributions have continued to grace the works of other musical artists-of-note as diverse as David Bowie, Jeff Beck, Sting, Mick Karn, David Sylvian, John Legend, Tori Amos, Tim Berne, Madonna, Meshell Ndegeocello, Jan Garbarek, Jarboe, Manu Katché, Laurie Anderson, Kaki King, kd lang, Chocolate Genius, Don Cherry, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Tony Levin, Andy Rinehart, Dave Douglas, Mark Isham, etc. Torn was educated by Leonard Bernstein ("Music for Young Composers"), and privately by John Abercrombie, Pat Martino, Paul Weiss & Arthur Basile.

Bassist/composer Michael Formanek's intelligent approach to his instrument has led to an impressive range of musical associations. He was a member Tim Berne's Bloodcount as well as Relativity with Marty Ehrlich and Peter Erskine. He has collaborated with Stan Getz, Tony Williams, Gerry Mulligan, the Mingus Big Band, Dave Burrell, Attila Zoller, Bob Moses, and Gary Thomas, among many others. He appears, most notabley, on Fred Hersch's Heartsongs, Uri Caine's Urlicht/Primal Light, Elvis Costello's North, and Tony Malaby's Sabino. He currently teaches at The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

Alto saxophonist Tim Berne moved to New York in 1974, sought Julius Hemphill out, and entered into an apprenticeship with the elder musician. In 1979, Berne began issuing his own albums on his Empire label and over the next five years he would record and distribute five albums under his own name, which included such musicians as Ed Schuller, Olu Dara, Paul Motian, John Carter, Nels Cline and Bill Frisell. Following two recordings for the Italian Soul Note label, Berne recorded Fulton Street Maul and Sanctified Dreams for Columbia Records. These recordings coincided with an increasingly active worldwide touring schedule. In 1988, Berne began a long relationship with the JMT label with the first of two recordings with the co-operative Miniature (with Joey Baron and Hank Roberts). Berne's JMT legacy climaxed with the historic Paris Concerts given by his quartet Bloodcount, released in three volumes (Lowlife, Poisoned Minds and Memory Select). Berne once again founded his own record label, Screwgun Records, and released a three CD set of live recordings by Bloodcount called Bloodcount Unwound. Tim Berne has continued to perform and record with his bands Big Satan (with Marc Ducret), Paraphrase (with Drew Gress), Science Friction (with Ducret and Craig Taborn) and Hard Cell.

Jazz pianist and organist Craig Taborn began working professionally in the 1990s in a variety of musical contexts, ranging from more straight-ahead jazz to more outside music, with young jazz musicians, seasoned veterans, and even techno artists. In his hometown of Minneapolis, Taborn studied piano, composition, and music theory with area university professors before going away to college. Before he graduated from college, Taborn had already performed on three recordings as a member of the James Carter Quartet. After graduating with a liberal arts degree from the University of Michigan in 1995, DIW released Taborn's first date as a leader, The Craig Taborn Trio. He then moved to New York City, and by the close of the 1990s, he performed on two more Carter releases: Roscoe Mitchell's 1999 ECM album, Nine to Get Ready; Detroiter Carl Craig's techno-jazz project, Innerzone Orchestra, and on Hugh Ragin's An Afternoon in Harlem. Since the beginning of 2000, Taborn has been active performing in Tim Berne's Big Satan and Science Friction, among many other ensembles including those of Susie Ibarra, Chris Potter, Dave Douglas and members of The Bad Plus.

Tom Rainey has been the drummer of choice for a range of renowned creative artists from the relatively straight-ahead to the uncompromisingly avant-garde, including Kenny Werner, Jane Ira Bloom, Fred Hersch, Mark Helias, Brad Shepik, Tony Malaby, Angelica Sanchez, Nels Cline, Andrea Parkins, and Tim Berne. Rainey's voluminous recording credits and the artistic caliber of the musicians he has supported would easily place him on the A-list of drummers closely identified with the New York City modern creative jazz scene roughly from the late 1980s onward. Yet it is with Berne that Rainey has forged his closest musical partnership, and on whose discs the drummer can be heard to best advantage. In Berne's Science Friction and Hard Cell bands, Berne has found in Rainey and in keyboardist Craig Taborn two musicians who easily pick up the thematic threads and fragments scattered through the saxophonist's often lengthy compositional/improvisational hybrids. Berne is also a master of building tension, holding back from easy payoffs as he sets two or more instrumentalists on different courses that coalesce gradually -- or suddenly and unexpectedly. Rainey is completely attuned to the utterly unique constructs and skewed rhythmic sensibility of a band like Science Friction (as is Taborn and guitarist Marc Ducret).

Michael Formanek-Tim Berne Duo
Tim Berne, alto saxophone
Michael Formanek, bass

Formanek and Byrne will be performing a new work called The Offbeat Manifesto.