Ben Wendel "a stunner" at Winter Jazzfest

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Thursday January 12, 2017

From NPR

130 Bands In Five Days: Highlights From Winter Jazzfest NYC 2017
By: Josh Jackson

I finished the marathon at the New School’s Glass Box Theater. It may have been the best place to hear bands up close and personal. Unfortunately, many attendees did not have that opportunity. Bands from bassist Ben Allison and saxophonist Ben Wendel drew audiences many times the size of capacity. So the stage crew threw open the doors and allowed everyone to hear the music. Wendel put a coda on the final night, and his set was a stunner. He brought the band from his The Seasons project together for its first performance, and these men sounded like they had been playing together for years. Inspired by Tchaikovsky’s piano sonatas, Wendel wrote original music for each of these musicians and made a series of duo performances he filmed for a 2015 project. This night, he brought pianist Aaron Parks, guitarist Gilad Hekselman, bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Eric Harland from that project to play their own dedications. The closing moment was a levitation act with Harland that had jazzbro eyes agog all around the place. It all seemed so intimate and exploratory, like when bodies touch for the first time. This is the season of love.

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