Of their latest CD release event in LA, The Los Angeles Times reports, “it’s probably safe to assume at this point that no other band working today can offer what Kneebody deliver.” A “resolutely un-pindownable band” (The New York Times), Grammy-nominated quintet Kneebody generates explosive rock energy paralleled with high-level chamber ensemble playing, and highly wrought compositions balanced with adventurous no-holds-barred improvising. All “sounds-like” references can be set aside as the band has created a genre and style all its own. Made up of keyboardist Adam Benjamin, trumpeter Shane Endsley, electric bassist Kaveh Rastegar, saxophonist Ben Wendel and drummer Nate Wood, each band member has amassed an impressive list of credits and accomplishments over the years while continuing to thrive and grow in reputation, solidifying a fan base around the world. Kneebody draws upon influences spanning D’Angelo’s Voodoo to music by Elliot Smith, Bill Frisell, and Miles Davis. Their live shows are known for intense sonic landscapes of the Radiohead ilk, for the rhythmic bombast of a Squarepusher or Queens of the Stone Age show, and the harmonic depth and improvisational freedom experienced at a Brad Mehldau concert. “Cohesion is the truest constant in the music of Kneebody, a band that inhabits the borderland abutted by post-bop, indie-rock and hip-hop, without seeming to give much thought to the borders” (The New York Times). The band made their Concord Records debut in 2013 with the release of their fourth album, The Line.
Mark Guiliana’s Beat Music
Still in his early thirties, drummer/composer Mark Guiliana, is at the forefront of top drummers in the world for creating an entirely new vernacular on the instrument – blending virtuosic skills on acoustic drums alongside electronic elements and processing. The New York Times recognized Guiliana as “a drummer around whom a cult of admiration has formed.” Guiliana’s prowess, conceptual approach and unmistakable sound were recently featured in Blackstar, the critically and commercially acclaimed final studio recording from the late David Bowie. Over the past decade, Guiliana has recorded and toured around the world with artists including Brad Mehldau, Meshell Ndegeocello, Gretchen Parlato, Avishai Cohen (bass), Matisyahu, Lionel Loueke, and his own groups, Beat Music and the Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet.
Time Out London sums him up perfectly: “What happens when you add hard bop drum masters Elvin Jones and Art Blakey to a 1980s Roland 808 drum machine, divide the result by J Dilla and then multiply to the power of Squarepusher? Answer: Mark Guiliana