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Kneebody: Chapters All About Jazz Review

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Tuesday December 10, 2019

From All About Jazz

Kneebody: Chapters
By: MIKE JACOBS

“Chapters’“the title of Kneebody’s 2019 release’“has a certain appropriateness, as it definitely marks several new ones for the band. One being that lyric- oriented songs account for nearly half of the material on the album. Technically, vocals are nothing new to Kneebody. The band included one track with vocals on their 2002 proto- Kneebody album Wendel. Its 2009 collaborative effort with Theo Bleckmann, Twelve Songs of Charles Ives (Winter and Winter, 2008) was nominated for a Grammy and indeed their recent EP By Fire (Edition Records, 2019)’“a covers project’“was 100% vocal, but Chapters does mark the first bonafide Kneebody album to fully incorporate vocals into original compositions. It’s also the first of Kneebody’s albums to have a host of guest appearances’“in vocal and instrumental capacities.

Most importantly though, Chapters marks the band’s transition from quintet to quartet. Co-founding bassist Kaveh Rastegar announced his departure to pursue a solo career prior to the album’s release. While this is not fully evident musically, (he contributes bass to seven of the album’s ten tracks), he’s listed among the guests on Chapters. The bass duties on other tracks (and henceforth, live) are now assimilated by drummer Nate Wood. As mind-boggling a notion as it seems, Wood has been known to pull this simultaneous double duty on more than a few Kneebody gigs but now it becomes his official role. (For more evidence of Wood’s wizardly multitasking, look up his solo project under the moniker fOUR).

All that said, Kneebody has always been as identity-strong as it is genre-elusive, and it always seems to capitalize on new wrinkles. So while many of these things about Chapters may surprise, they don’t disappoint.”

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