By JON GARELICK | October 5, 2012
Tim Berne, Michael Formanek, Craig Taborn, Gerald Cleaver
The music of the Michael Formanek Quartet offers the listener a kind of tough love. At the Regattabar Thursday night (as on their new ECM release, Small Places), they built tunes outward from small rhythmic cells of melody — repeated, then extended, knotted with sharp angles of dissonance, displaced accents, and odd rests. But it was beautiful stuff — delving into the noise and clamor of free jazz but with a compelling formal integrity.