West Coast eclectic Kneebody elbowed its way to the front of the crowd on Theo Bleckmann's Grammy-nominated Twelve Songs by Charles Ives (Winter & Winter, 2009). As is customary with Bleckmann, he always employs musicians empathetic with his creative and playful vision. On You Can have Your Moment, Kneebody is all business, pushing the musical envelope to the edge of sonic awareness. The band closes You Can have Your Moment with High Noon," composed by trumpeter Shane Endsley. Aside from the 1952 Gary Cooper/Grace Kelly Western film, Kneebody's High Noon" has roots much older. The musical Baroque ...read more
Kneebody needs no introduction for the avant-leaning, electro-acoustic jazz set--if such a specific subset of a crowd exists. This quintet has a way of combining high art improvisation with earthy grooves and electronic etching that nobody else can seem to match. The music on You Can Have Your Moment is a sonic stew that includes raucous rock grooves, progressive improvisation, ambient experimentation, rhythmic misdirection and a whole lot more. While all five members of this group have a way of meshing as one, different roles are noticeable. The bottom-end of the band--drummer Nate Wood and bassist Kaveh ...read more
Following in the wake of Twelve Songs by Charles Ives, a 2009 collaboration with avant-garde vocalist Theo Bleckmann, You Can Have Your Moment is Kneebody's second album for the enterprising German label Winter & Winter, and the quintet's fourth full-length release since its self-titled 2005 debut on Greenleaf records. Similar to the band's sophomore effort, Low Electrical Worker (Colortone Media, 2007), this heavily amplified session finds the young ensemble delving further into electronic territory, eschewing the partially acoustic instrumentation of previous endeavors for a more plugged-in sound.Continuing to explore a variety of genres, the five members of Kneebody ...read more
Kneebody's second full-length album starts off with an aggressive dose of jazz and industrial rock on Poton." Drummer Nate Wood's slow, deliberate rhythm is irresistible, bordering on obnoxious, and tenor saxophonist Ben Wendel's improvising skills are well-suited to the quintet's combination of pop sensibility, jazz meditation and rock ferocity. A wave of sounds--trumpet, effects, Fender Rhodes, melodica, to name a few--hit the ears, but Wendel and trumpeter Shane Endsley's heady improv style meshes well, making everything sound cohesive. The waves become more aggressive as the record progresses. On Roll," Fender Rhodes pianist Adam Benjamin takes on the ...read more
Kneebody 25th Anniversary San Francisco Jazz Festival Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, California November 7, 2007
While yesterday's jazz greats had swing, bebop, and hard bop forming the core of their influences, the young improvisers of today have been brought up with a whole spectrum of musical influences, traditions and styles. From electronic music to hip hop to hard rock, the new generation of musicians soaks up everything around it and comes up with many nice surprises. Kneebody, a band of LA-based musicians, is a perfect example of a genre-defying fresh new ...read more
A young quintet on the rise, Kneebody's self-titled 2005 debut on Dave Douglas' then newly formed Greenleaf records was an obvious indicator of its potential. The group's sophomore follow-up, Low Electrical Worker (released on Colortone Media), is a dense amalgam of genres and styles delivered with a unified voice.
Filled with youthful vigor, Kneebody delivers a sense of palpable enthusiasm throughout these varied tunes. Weaving together an impressive collection of stylistic influences, the quintet knits threads of M-Base funk, post rock futurism, Sabbath-inspired thrash, bittersweet pop and chamber-esque introspection into a singular sonic tapestry.
Each piece ...read more
When trumpeter Dave Douglas parted ways with RCA/Bluebird--which released his projects between 2000 and 2004--he created Greenleaf Music to allow him better control over both his art and its delivery. He also planned to bring exposure to other artists. The first non-Douglas release on the new label, the self-titled debut by Kneebody, fits perfectly with Douglas' view that music should transcend labels and artificial stylistic restrictions.
A quintet of players who have worked with artists as diverse as Ani DiFranco, Snoop Dogg, and Steve Coleman, Kneebody brings that very diversity to its own music, combining focused yet vivid improvisational interplay ...read more