Ben Wendel "Song Song" Featured on NYTimes "The Playlist"

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Thursday July 28, 2016


The Playlist: Miranda Lambert Bounces Back and Michelle Obama Sings the Hits
By: Jon Pareles, Ben Ratliff, Jon Caramanica and Nate Chinen

Ben Wendel is a saxophonist and bassoonist with an ultramodern jazz profile, but he has more than a passing connection to the music’s past language and literature. ‘Song Song’ is a track from his accomplished new quartet album, ‘What We Bring,’ due out on Sept. 9. And if its lilting bounce reminds you of ‘Poinciana,’ a signature tune for Ahmad Jamal, that’s purely intentional: Mr. Wendel wrote his piece in a spirit of fond tribute. His ace rhythm section – Gerald Clayton on piano, Joe Sanders on bass, Henry Cole on drums – embraces the premise while expanding the frame, especially during Mr. Wendel’s tenor solo, which begins just after the four-minute mark, covering a lot of ground in a compact space before steering back home. N.C.

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