Friday July 10, 2015
theartsdesk at Love Supreme: Van Morrison & Dianne Reeves
By: Matthew Wright
On Sunday, the role of genre-bending was passed on to Kneebody, a Californian fusion quintet who set out to ask questions about style. Using the instrumental techniques of post-bop jazz, with the compositional structures of minimalism, especially from keys player Adam Benjamin, saxophonist Ben Wendel and trumpeter Shane Endsley (pictured below), their pieces featured intricate, overlapping phrases – put together in a way that sounded almost like simultaneous improvisation – that swirled and blended in an increasingly manic and compelling crescendo of virtuosic, funky energy. Writing duties, shared among the band, included wry cultural allusions in pieces such as “Anti-hero”, for Walter White, the meth-cooking maths teacher in cult TV series Breaking Bad. For a snapshot of the faultlines of contemporary jazz, Kneebody were one of the unmissable acts, all the more so for the fact that compared to the rest of the weekend’s line-up, they are relatively hard to find in the UK.
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