A daring, unclassifiable improvisatory mix
In their almost two-decade history, the Grammy-nominated band Kneebody has created a genre and style all its own. Their sound is explosive rock energy and high-level nuanced chamber ensemble playing set within the frames of highly wrought compositions that are balanced with adventurous no-holds-barred improvising. Kneebody is keyboardist Adam Benjamin, trumpeter Shane Endsley, saxophonist Ben Wendel and drummer/bassist Nate Wood. The band has no leader or rather, each member is the leader; they’ve developed their own musical language, inventing a unique cueing system that allows them each to change the tempo, key, style, and more in an instant. Says The New York Times: "There isn’t a handy term or genre for the music that Kneebody creates. It’s a band thoroughly acquainted with 1960s free-bop, 1970s jazz rock, 1990s hip-hop and postmillennial indie rock; along with classical postminimalism. (I’m leaving something out, I’m sure.) Whatever the terminology, this group has an audience."
The year 2019 brought back-to-back releases from Kneebody on Edition Records. In the spring, they released "By Fire," an EP featuring an eclectic selection of covers from John Legend to Soundgarden. It was followed by the fall release of "Chapters," the group’s first full-length album as a quartet, mixing deep grooves and deft melodies with a wide range of guests including Becca Stevens, Gretchen Parlato, Michael Mayo, Gerald Clayton, and Josh Dion.