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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

Ben Wendel: High Heart

Read "High Heart" reviewed by Mike Jacobs

If Ben Wendel's fifth outing as a leader High Heart shows anything, it's that the saxophonist is ever advancing. While this may seem a fait accompli for a card-carrying member of the shapeshifting collective Kneebody, Wendel's worthy solo efforts have been notably more in a traditionally-sounding vein and thus his innovations were perhaps a bit less readily evident to ears acclimated to that other side of his resume. And yes, by comparison to Kneebody, High Heart still tacks toward a ...

RADIO

Ben Wendel Live At BIMHUIS Amsterdam

Read "Ben Wendel Live At BIMHUIS Amsterdam" reviewed by BIMHUIS

Ben Wendel, saxophonist of Kneebody and forerunner of the current jazz generation, presents music from his YouTube project Seasons, a remarkable video series on YouTube: 12 duets, composed for and dedicated to 12 musicians he admires, released over 12 months. The project was inspired by the eponymous series of piano duos by Tchaikovsky. Ben Wendel is a versatile musician, who effortlessly switches between tenor sax and bassoon and between jazz, classical music, funk or West Coast hip-hop. Born ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ben Wendel: The Seasons

Read "The Seasons" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

For many centuries composers have set to music the different seasons each new year has to offer (lately, some show the tendency of disappearing more and more. Seasons, not composers). Baroque composer Vivaldi's very straightforward division in four on “Le Quattro Stagioni" has to be one of the most prominent examples. Saxophonist and composer Ben Wendel however was inspired by 19th century superstar Pyotr Tchaikovsky's “Les Saisons" when in January of 2015 he decided to document a series of 12 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ben Wendel: The Seasons

Read "The Seasons" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Stepping out as he occasionally does from the genre-mashing ensemble Kneebody, Grammy-nominated saxophonist / bassoonist Ben Wendel takes up the challenge of interpreting the seasons as they exist in this time of climate upheaval and delivers the dynamic, visceral The Seasons. In 2015, inspired by Tchaikovsky's “The Seasons," Wendel set about writing and performing twelve duets and videos featuring musicians he keenly admires, including Shai Maestro, Joshua Redman, Julian Lage, Matt Brewer, Eric Harland, and vocalist Luciana Souza. ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ben Wendel: Frame

Read "Frame" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

There is a beautiful and mysterious quality to multi-instrumentalist Ben Wendel's Frame. It is as if the hot breath from one of his horns has blown some ancient film away to reveal an iridescent object that begins to oscillate and spin, changing colors and hues, mesmerizing as it spins and swings with uncharacteristic swagger. All this seems both real and unreal as Wendel's singular, hypnotic voice unfurls. The saxophonist inhabits a sound as close to singing through the reed as ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ben Wendel: Simple Song

Read "Simple Song" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Reedman Ben Wendel plays music that sings in different idioms. He has collaborated with the renowned conductor, Kent Nagano in a series of concerts in Germany, and has toured with Cuban drummer, Ignacio Berroa, electronica artist, Daedelus and rapper, Snoop Dog. He is also founding member of the indefinable band, Kneebody, which has been described as imparting an epic trans-generational gravity. On Simple Song, which is anything but simple in its approach to the idiom of jazz, Wendel sweeps across ...


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