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Kneebody needs no introduction for the avant-leaning, electro-acoustic jazz setif 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 banddrummer Nate Wood and bassist Kaveh Rastegarbring the power with their heavy grooves, jam band-meets-downtown sound and drum-n-bass derived drama. Wood expertly plays grunge-leaning grooves ("Teddy Ruxpin"), as well as jittery odd-meter oddities ("No Thank You Mr. West"), and Rastegar goes right with him and helps create a floor for the rest of the group to walk on.
Saxophonist Ben Wendel and trumpeter Shane Endsley often harmonize on stretched lines adding color to stark, alien worlds ("Desperation Station")but their contributions don't stop there; each has opportunities to share their unique solo voices over tumbling sound collages that groove, yet baffle.
While four of the five musicians on the album are credited with "effects," Benjamin seems to be the prime mover-and-shaker in this area. His fat Fender Rhodes sound, vibraphone-like statements ("The Entrepreneur"), carnival-esque creations, and otherworldly aural oddities help flesh out these bizarre moving pictures. "Call"which sounds a bit empty as the horns speak over the drumsis immediately richer and fuller sounding when Benjamin enters the picture.
The best moments on this album are also the most dizzying, with looping lines that move and lock with one another in strange and unexpected ways. "No Thank You Mr. West," and the album-closing "High Noon," are the best examples; the latter tune providing a platform for Endsley and Wendel to blow, and the former giving the band a chance to revel in a hellish rhythmic rave of its own creation. While plenty of groups try this type of music, Kneebody does it better.
Track Listing: Adam Benjamin: fender rhodes, effects; Shane Endsley: trumpet, effects; Kaveh Rastegar: electric bass, effects; Ben Wendel: saxophone, melodica, effects; Nate Wood: drums.
Personnel: Teddy Ruxpin; Held; The Entrepreneur; No Thank You Mr. West; You Have One Unheard Message; The Blind; You Can Have Your Moment; Desperation Station; Nerd Mountain; Call; Unforseen Influences; High Noon.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.