Kneebody’s sound is… explosive rock energy paralleled with high-level nuanced chamber ensemble playing, with highly wrought compositions that are balanced with adventurous no-holds-barred improvising. All “sounds-like” references can be set aside; this band has created a genre and style all its own.
Kneebody bassist Kaveh Rastegar thinks of their sound this way, “Personally, I think calling Kneebody ‘jazz’ or ‘electric jazz’ is fantastic because then we can move on from that hang up and play our music – and alter expectations of what ‘jazz’ is.”
Kneebody is keyboardist Adam Benjamin, trumpeter Shane Endsley, electric bassist Kaveh Rastegar, saxophonist Ben Wendel and drummer Nate Wood. The band has no leader or rather, each member is the leader; they’ve developed their own musical language, inventing a unique cueing system that allows them each to change the tempo, key, style, and more in an instant.
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.
In 2005, Kneebody released their debut self-titled album Kneebody on Dave Douglas’ Greenleaf Music Label. Low Electrical Worker followed in 2007 on the Colortone Label. A collection of 13 original songs, Low Electrical Worker was hailed by saxophonist Joshua Redman as one of his “favorite albums of 2007.” In the spring of 2009, Kneebody and vocalist Theo Bleckmann released 12 Songs of Charles Ives on the Winter & Winter label and received a Grammy Award nomination in the “classical crossover” category. 2013 saw the release of The Line for Concord Records. In 2015, Kneebody’s groundbreaking collaboration with electronic musician Daedelus on Kneedelus was released on Flying Lotus’ imprint Brainfeeder records to praise from critics and audiences alike. Kneebody made their Motéma Music debut album Anti-Hero in March of 2017.
Photo Credit: Tarona
Mark Guiliana BEAT MUSIC
Mark Guiliana has become recognized as one of the world’s leading drummers, admired and in demand across the spectrum from jazz to rock to electronic music for his rhythmic sophistication, creative impulse, and individual sound. He has been in the vanguard of drummers creating a new vernacular on the instrument, blending virtuosity on acoustic drums with artfully deployed electronic beats and processing. With Beat Music ‘” Guiliana’s electric band featuring a number of varied guests, hard-edged grooves and synthetic-organic fusions blend with filmic atmospherics and vocals, all driven by Guiliana’s sonic ingenuity and percussive virtuosity. In the Spring of 2019 Motema Music is slated to release the next Beat Music record. ‘Electronic music is a huge inspiration for me,’ he explains. ‘The first time I heard Squarepusher’s Feed Me Weird Things, it hit me like the first time I heard Tony Williams with Miles. Then hearing Aphex Twin was like hearing Elvin Jones with Coltrane. Experiencing that electronic music ‘” its precision, discipline, timbral imagination ‘” was just as profound for me as hearing those jazz drumming icons. So, marrying the discipline of electronic music with the improvisational sense of jazz is a lot of what the Beat Music is about.’ All About Jazz calls him ‘a beat poet of another sort… one of the few drummers who can creatively straddle and blur the electro-acoustic dividing line.’ One thing is for sure ‘” over the last decade, Mark Guiliana has become ‘one of the most influential drummers of his generation’ (JazzTimes).