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Kneebody – Chapters (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Kneebody – Chapters (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 50:55 minutes | 1,04 GB | Genre: Electronic
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Edition Records

Do Not Ignore This! This is the highly inventive, original and compelling new album from explosive US quartet Kneebody. The music is adventurous, exuberant and powerful: music for a new generation, music that will inspire and excite, coming from a band with a committed and distinctive sound. From the off, it commands your attention and surprises at every turn. Kneebody are a band with a long history, a deep mutual respect and a dedicated fan base, yet this album marks a new beginning – a new line-up, a new label, and renewed focus. The album is Chapters, an all-encompassing and powerhouse album that mixes deep grooves and deft melodies with a wide range of guests including Becca Stevens, Gretchen Parlato, Michael Mayo and Josh Dion. Chapters is a modern day great!

Kneebody’s tenth studio album, 2019’s Chapters, is one of their most accessible albums to date, featuring a handful of guest vocalists on songs that ably straddle the line between hooky post-rock and exploratory jazz. It’s an aesthetic the forward-thinking Los Angeles outfit featuring saxophonist Ben Wendel, trumpeter Shane Endsley, keyboardist Adam Benjamin, drummer/bassist Nate Wood, and bassist Kaveh Rastegar have been forging since the early 2000s, combining fusion-esque group arrangements with propulsive exploratory improvisation. Chapters is no exception and in many ways showcases an almost perfect balance of compositional songwriting, post-bop soloing, and lyrical vocal melodies. The latter commands the most attention here as Kneebody bring on board guest singers Michael Mayo, Gretchen Parlato, Josh Dion, and singer/guitarist Becca Stevens, each of whom either wrote or co-wrote their song. All of these singers have a slightly different style and overall vibe, allowing Kneebody to color their sound in different ways. Mayo’s “What’s My Name” has a flowing, contemporary R&B feel that Kneebody accents with a skittering electronic-inspired groove. Conversely, Stevens’ introspective “Wounds Let the Light In” features her circular guitar arpeggio and hushed vocals framed in vibrant trumpet and sax harmonies and spiraling keyboard solo, all of which brings to mind Joni Mitchell’s work with Wayne Shorter. Kneebody splits the difference with Parlato’s yearning “When It All Comes Down,” a slowly rolling anthem punctuated by gorgeously attenuated trumpet and sax accents, and dapples of spacy digital keyboards. There are also plenty of engaging instrumental tracks on Chapters, including the fuzz-tone raga of “Spectra,” “A Seaworthy Native” with its angular post-bop melody set against a cacophonous metallic funk rhythm, and the expansive “Ombre” with its languorously woozy horn and keyboard lines evoking Circle in the Round-era Miles Davis. The juxtaposition between the instrumental and vocal tracks works nicely, and Chapters manages to be both surprisingly risk-taking and accessible at the same time. ~ Matt Collar

1. Spectra (4:37)
2. What’s My Name (5:53)
3. A Seaworthy Native (7:09)
4. Wounds Let in the Light (4:52)
5. Chapters (4:43)
6. Hearts Won’t Break (5:23)
7. Ombré (3:28)
8. The Trip (5:10)
9. When It All Comes Down (5:49)
10. The Non-Profit Prince of Lexington (3:57)

Ben Wendel: saxophone, effects
Shane Endsley: trumpet, effects
Adam Benjamin: keyboards
Nate Wood: drums, drums and bass (tracks 1, 7 and 9)

Michael Mayo: Vocals (track 2)
Becca Stevens: Vocals (track 4)
Josh Dion: Vocals, Synth Bass, Drums (track 6)
Gerald Clayton: Piano (track 8)
Gretchen Parlato: Vocals (track 9)
Kaveh Rastegar: Bass (tracks 2-6 and 8)


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