Shane Endsley’s horn pitter-pattered like hand-placed rain drops on a hot tin roof, pinging tones varying with the contours of the surface they hit; mo’ better. Ben Wendel bled raw emotion over the reed of his sax in response to the weather around him, seeking companionship from Kaveh Rastegar’s bass scales, sharing the moment. Mirages hid the tenacious movement of drumsticks parried by Nate Wood’s hands. Wood may be a mutant able to perceive rhythm and tempo more precisely than a digital controller. Keyboardist Adam Benjamin blankets it all with modulation and visionary arrangement taking the place of 7 guitars.
Pretty damn cool these Kneebody kids are. Reading the periodical titles in their review trophy case you might think these dudes were the clone army spin-off band of Dave Koz. Wall Street Journal, New York Times and L.A. Times all agree Kneebody makes beautiful music. Some consternation can be traced in attempts to find a suitable genre box to pack them. For whatever value it may have, to my ears they do much to contribute to the progression of acid jazz.
The Jazz Estate’s hit streak continues, justifying occasional pricey covers for taste shattering performances that recently included Sidewalk Chalk and the Greyhounds.
Kneebody, Jazz Estate
Kneebody, Jazz Estate p. 2
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