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 period was captivated with counterpoint; by definition, the relationship between two or more tonal voices independent in contour and rhythm, but harmonically interdependent.
Johann Sebastian Bach fully explored and defined counterpoint in his watershed Das Wohltemperirte Clavier, Books I and II (The Well-Behaved Keyboard), and his experimental, unfinished and somewhat mysterious Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue). Like Miles Davis said of Louis Armstrong, Bach composed all there was to be composed. Endsley's piece pits four different tonal lines against one another, each with differing time and rhythm for what is tantamount to contrapuntal anarchy that smoothes into a driving groove receptive to solo space by Endsley and saxophonist Ben Wendel. This is the music that Rod Serling would employ for The Twilight Zone 21st Century.
Personnel: Adam Benjamin: Fender Rhodes, effects; Ben Wendel: saxophone,
melodica, effects; Shane Endsley: trumpet, effects; Kaveh Rastegar:
electric bass, effects; Nate Wood: drums.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.