|Parallel to the political turmoil of the late sixties something was stirring in jazz music, too - formal clichés were smashed, sound barriers were torn down, an absolute freedom fo sound and energy seemed to be the need of the moment.
But free jazz is over. The artistic development lies now in the hands of competent and imaginative designers who, fumbling with the scattered fragments of melody, harmony and rhythm, set about creating something new. Designers such as drummer Joey Baron, saxophonist Tim Berne, and cellist Hank Roberts. They have formed a group by the name of Miniature and are now presenting their record debut under this same name.
What all three musicians of Miniature have in common, is a vivid curiousity towards new developments in music. They test the various elements whether they could be used for their own musical statements and it is this explorer's sense which makes their recording debut so attractive. Acoustic and electronic sounds blend with each other, rhythmic and melodic functions are distribued among all instruments, and the roles of soloist and accompanist interchange continuously.
Each member of Miniature is also contributing to the group as a composer. Joey Baron, whose talent as a drummer has been appreciated by such distinct musicians as Toshiko Akiyoshi and John Zorn, has written the light-footed Peanut as well as the almost melancholic, yearning Lonely Mood. The free and passionate trialog in Hong Kong Sad Song, one of four compositions by Tim Berne, shows that the efforts for liberation during the sixties and seventies have not been in vain but have acquired a new rank as being one element among others. A particularly amiable feature of Miniature is their humor, flashing up e.g. when Joey Baron uses his CZ 101-keyboard to mime a tipsy New Orleans trumpet.
Miniature presents Tim Berne for the first time as a leader on JMT, Joey Baron, who is a member of various modern groups (Bill Frisell, John Zorn etc.), appears in a co-leading role for the first time ever. Hank Roberts has already presented his own formation Black Pastels in spring 1988 . -Original Press Text written in 1988