Kneebody at Love Supreme Festival (UK)

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Friday July 10, 2015


theartsdesk at Love Supreme: Van Morrison & Dianne Reeves
By: Matthew Wright

On Sunday, the role of genre-bending was passed on to Kneebody, a Californian fusion quintet who set out to ask questions about style. Using the instrumental techniques of post-bop jazz, with the compositional structures of minimalism, especially from keys player Adam Benjamin, saxophonist Ben Wendel and trumpeter Shane Endsley (pictured below), their pieces featured intricate, overlapping phrases ‘” put together in a way that sounded almost like simultaneous improvisation ‘” that swirled and blended in an increasingly manic and compelling crescendo of virtuosic, funky energy. Writing duties, shared among the band, included wry cultural allusions in pieces such as ‘Anti-hero’, for Walter White, the meth-cooking maths teacher in cult TV series Breaking Bad. For a snapshot of the faultlines of contemporary jazz, Kneebody were one of the unmissable acts, all the more so for the fact that compared to the rest of the weekend’s line-up, they are relatively hard to find in the UK.

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