LA Times Features Ben Wendel / ACT

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Thursday September 17, 2015

from LA

By: Gary Fukushima

Those who wish to be called creative musicians should actually create music, and hardly no one has done that better recently than Ben Wendel. The saxophonist is in the middle of a year-long, Tchaikovsky-inspired video project called The Seasons. He’s toured with drummer Antonio Sanchez, recently did a week with pianist Gerald Clayton at the Village Vanguard, and he (with Kneebody) will soon share a bill with Snarky Puppy at Royce Hall. Somehow, Wendel found time out of this crazy schedule to go to upstate New York with bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Nate Wood, collaboratively writing and recording an album in three days, their second as a trio. The record (ACT II) builds on the drama created from their first (ACT), with the ACT-ors developing and deepening their roles and chemistry in this superb three-man play.