Home » Jazz Articles » Ben Wendel: All One


Album Review

Ben Wendel: All One


Sign in to view read count
Ben Wendel: All One
Saxophonist Ben Wendel came up with a unique approach for this album of duets. He plays with a different musician on each of these six tracks, but while his guests stick to their primary instruments, Wendel fills in the space around them with multiple saxophone and bassoon parts, electronic effects, and percussion.

The most conventional results of this approach are heard in the two vocal tracks. Cecile McLorin Salvant's sensitive singing on "I Loves You Porgy" and José James' soulful baritone on "Tenderly" are each supported by a dense wall of reeds that approximate the massed harmonies of a pipe organ. Wendel also solos on these tracks, playing a line of tenor sax that rises up to complement the voices.

On "In Anima" Tigran Hamasyan's dark, repeating piano chords dialogue with waves of processed, moaning saxophones and a ghostly tenor briefly plunges through the din. Terence Blanchard's trumpet goes through processing on "Wanderers" as it bounces against a Philip Glass-like background of repeating sax notes. Blanchard gets to soar melodically in multiple tracks before rolling over a chorus of chattering bassoons. By contrast, on "Speak Joy" Elena Pinderhughes, is mostly a single bright flute voice that holds its own against more minimalist repetitions and Wendel's ponderous solo bassoon blasts. Bill Frisell is no stranger to electronic looping and manipulation and he sounds at home sliding his way through his own composition, "Throughout." His guitar lyrically navigates Wendel's gently waving reed atmosphere, melting naturally into it as Wendel plays his most eloquent tenor statements of the album.

Ben Wendel has shown his ability as a player before but the concept and arranging of this ambitious project is new territory for him. He creates a lot of stimulating settings for his collaborators to work with and emerges with lovely and distinctive music.

Track Listing

I Loves You Porgy; Wanderers; Throughout; Speak Joy; Tenderly; In Anima.


Ben Wendel: saxophone; Cecile McLorin Salvant: voice / vocals; Terence Blanchard: trumpet; Bill Frisell: guitar, electric; Elena Pinderhughes: flute; José James: voice / vocals; Tigran Hamasyan: piano.

Additional Instrumentation

Ben Wendel: bassoon, EFX, hand percussion; Cecile McLorin Salvant (1); Terence Blanchard (2); Bill Frisell (3); Elena Pinderhughes (4); Jose James (5); Tigran Hamasyan (6).

Album information

Title: All One | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Edition Records

Post a comment about this album

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



John La Barbera
Cry Me A River
Hilario Duran
Oblong Aplomb
Matt Mitchell
The Defector
Henry Spencer


Double Portrait
Giuseppe Millaci and the Vogue Trio
Afro Futuristic Dreams
Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids
Pharoah (Box Set)
Pharoah Sanders
Dynamic Maximum Tension
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society

On the record

Vibes on a Breath
Ted Piltzecker
Jonathan Karrant
Brazilian Match
Luiz Millan
Double Portrait
Giuseppe Millaci and the Vogue Trio

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.