If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.
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In less than two decades Kneebody has established itself as reference band of forward-looking musicians. With a brand new EP out, By Fire, their first release entirely dedicated to covers, a new outlet (the British musician-run reference label Edition Records), and new line-up following the departure of bassist Kaveh Rastegar, there's a been a lot going on for this influential group. So this week we look back at their genre-bending work, and at the busy careers and eclectic collaborations of its members, Adam Benjamin, Shane Endsley, Kaveh Rastegar, Ben Wendel and Nate Wood
Ben Allison "Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" 0:00
Kneebody "King Harvest (feat. Josh Dion)" By Fire (Edition) 0:17
Host talks 5:33
Kneebody "Uprising" Anti-Hero (Motéma) 7:33
Kneebody "The Blind" You Can Have Your Moment (Winter and Winter) 14:29
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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