Snakeoilis the title of the super strong CD that New York saxophonist Tim Berne released last year. With that album this influential and acclaimed jazz crack made the next move in his career. His specialty, releasing live recordings, was left behind this time: Snakeoil was recorded in the studio after no fewer than two years of rehearsing. This makes for a challenging jazz album. The instruments fight, cuddle and frolic with each other: there is attraction and sometimes there isn't. This doesn't make the compositions by Berne easy to digest, but for those who simply drift along with the music there is a world of emotions to explore. Performed by the best musicians on the American jazz scene, no less. Both on CD and live Snakeoil are a quartet, with Oscar Noriega on clarinet, Matt Mitchell on the piano and Ches Smith on drums and percussion.