"This Michael Bisio Quartet is a new kindred-spirit assembly featuring the veteran bassist alongside Mat Maneri (viola), Karl Berger (vibraphone) and Whit Dickey (drums). Their melodiously alluring debut album, MBefore, features the four virtuoso improvisers communing on a set of original compositions by Bisio & Berger, plus a free-minded take on the standard 'I Fall in Love Too Easily'. Michael Bisio has earned just praise for his textured solo performances as well as collaborations with the likes of veteran multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee. But it's perhaps his 13-year membership in the Matthew Shipp Trio that has earned him widest renown, having toured on both sides of the Atlantic along with recording numerous albums with the pianist. Cadence magazine marveled over the way Bisio's playing 'seems to be produced by sorcery.' From the liner notes by Matthew Shipp: 'Michael Bisio is one of the greatest bassists on the planet -- but this album isn't about his bass playing. It's about his humanity. Bisio is a thoughtful group leader who has a knack for bringing the right people together and setting them up in such a way that they feel at one with the group dynamic.' MBefore is about the ensemble and its collective consciousness -- it's about the group aesthetic, with the resulting sound having a transparent quality. With vibes and viola, there's a sonic clarity, even a kind of sweetness. That clarity and transparency allows the contrapuntal quality of the music to be fully revealed -- you can hear everyone's lines at once, and the subtle harmonies created by the crossing of those individual lines. On that clarity and transparency... there's no more compelling improviser on a stringed instrument than Mat Maneri, and his viola sings darkly with light throughout MBefore. As for Karl Berger -- the illustrious octogenarian vibraphonist who brought two new compositions to this album as well -- he remains profoundly on top of his game. Bisio has worked with him regularly since moving a decade ago from NYC up to Berger's neck of the woods in the Hudson River Valley. As Shipp notes, Berger is 'a master of space, a master of restraint, a master of melding his sound in the sonic ambient.' TAO Forms is honored to present his very latest work as performer and composer here on MBefore." "This is a banquet, a true feast. It was created by people who gave themselves over to the concept and reveled in the generation of beautiful sound." --Matthew Shipp