Manchester Explosion

Science Friction

Issued via his own Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Screwgun label, Tim Berne's Science Friction can be seen as a sequel to his excellent 2001 Thirsty Ear album, The Shell Game; once again, the edgy alto saxophon

Issued via his own Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Screwgun label, Tim Berne's Science Friction can be seen as a sequel to his excellent 2001 Thirsty Ear album, The Shell Game; once again, the edgy alto saxophonist is abetted by the samplers and synthesizers of Craig Taborn and drums of Tom Rainey, as well as the digital cut-and-paste of studio shaman David Torn. This time, though, the mind-bending guitars of French avant-whiz Marc Ducret are also in tow, adding considerable metallic spice to the proceedings. This is what 21st-century jazz should sound like—sonically subversive, harmonically acute, melodically surprising, and with tired tropes traded for fresh twists on bop (and pop) methods. Those with a yen for rock exotica might be just as taken with the aptly titled Science Friction as would fans of the "downtown" improvising scene. Regardless, anyone who opens their ears to Berne, Torn, and company will hear some truly evolutionary art. For info, log on to screwgunrecords.com.—BB