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Kneebody Brings Epic Collection of Sounds to SF

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Tuesday September 18, 2018

From The Mercury News

L.A. band Kneebody brings epic collection of sounds to SF Bay Area gigs
By: Andrew Gilbert

From the very beginning, Kneebody resisted all efforts at stylistic categorization. Formed in Los Angeles by five conservatory-trained musicians, the band drew on rock and hip-hop, electronica and new music, all filtered through an improvisational sensibility honed in a variety of jazz settings.

Featuring keyboardist Adam Benjamin, trumpeter Shane Endsley, electric bassist Kaveh Rastegar, saxophonist Ben Wendel and drummer Nate Wood, the widely influential ensemble forged its own musical universe, an ever-expanding realm governed by hidden forces and mysterious sonic flows. The band performs Sept. 20 at The Independent in San Francisco on a double bill with tenor sax star Donny McCaslin, and plays two shows Friday at San Jose’s Art Boutiki.

Part of what makes Kneebody so enthralling is the way that each of the musicians peels off to pursue individual projects. Wendel has recorded a series of gorgeous, intricately arranged chamber jazz sessions and contributed to albums by leading improvisers such as pianists Gerald Clayton, Taylor Eigsti and Tigran Hamasyan. Nate Wood has a one-man band project in which he plays drums, bass and keyboards, when he’s not touring as a bassist in Donny McCaslin’s band. And Rastegar has thrived touring with John Legend and Sia and writing songs for acts such as Bruno Mars, Meshell Ndegeocello, De La Soul and Ciara. He just released a new solo album, “Light of Love” (Ropeadope).

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