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Kneebody: You Can Have Your Moment

Improv-laden and groovin.' Gritty, yet polished. Swingin' and funky. Edgy, yet playful. With a name like Kneebody and an album called You Can Have Your Moment, the obvious thing about these mercenaries of sound is that they don't take themselves too seriously. That's because they don't have to when the debris under their fingernails radiates more talent than anything new-and-cool on FM. Adam Benjamin's artistry on the famed Fender Rhodes keyboard never wears thin no other 'boards on this outing, either. In lieu of guitar, Shane Endsley's trumpet is the perfect foil for Ben Wendell's sax. Bassist Kaveh Rastegar and drummer Nate Wood are the tough-as-bricks rhythm section.

Images of urban sprawl and vehicular blurring spring into action on "Teddy Ruxpin." Once Wendell and Endsley have set things up with their alternating melodic air punches, the band dials up the intensity for an affair that never gets too sticky or complex for complexity's sake. The second track "Held" is a metered drip of carefully staged dissonance, poised to offset a nightmarish groove both funky and hazy. Adam Benjamin's Rhodes conjurations finalize a juxtaposed sense of calm-before-the-storm dread and ignorance-is-bliss mellow. Before the piece plays out, memories of The Onion Field come hither. (Maybe the title should be "Held Up"?)

"The Entrepreneur" is one of several noirish pieces. More Night Gallery than Twilight Zone, the snare brush cadence, suspended Rhodes timbres and low trumpet drones that precede the entrance of the sax are more than sufficiently filmic. Benjamin's Rhodes figures in a more dynamic fashion on "No Thank You Mr. West" and "You Have One Unheard Message."

Dare they rock? Affirmative, Captain. Commenced by a nimble bass solo, "The Blind" struts like Darediablo's jazzified cousin who's over for the holidays. Rastegar continues "his moment" with the title track. It morphs from a friendlier traditional electric jazz tune, horns aplenty, to a starkly atonal and antisocial field recording-of-the-mind. Strange one, that! The sequel to "The Entrepreneur," Benjamin starts off "Desperation Station" with the Rhodes' spectral whisper, flanged and phased to effect those uniquely somnolent nuances. Then sax and trumpet lines mirror each other and roll around in the shade with incestuous precision. It's amusing to hear Rastegar's woefully downmixed bass (on this cut, anyway) get in some quick action under the radar at track's close.

"Nerd Mountain" opens Moment's third cycle with an agitated, borderline free-jazz, avant-funk gameplan. Benjamin unfurls more Rhodes coolness and FX on "Call" and "Unforseen Influences," joined again in the latter with more sturdy sax-blowin.' "High Noon" is this mind-movie's tautly-driven, action-packed finale with generous salvos of invisible fire emanating from Endsley & Wendell.

On top of being a really cool album, kudos to Winter & Winter for the beautiful mini-hardcover/digipack hybrid packaging. This is how InsideOut should do their Special Edition releases.

Tracklist:

1. Teddy Ruxpin (6:16)
2. Held (5:43)
3. The Entrepreneur (5:12)
4. No Thank You Mr. West (3:29)
5. You Have One Unheard Message (3:01)
6. The Blind (3:22)
7. You Can Have Your Moment (2:38)
8. Desperation Station (5:56)
9. Nerd Mountain (3:59)
10. Call (6:46)
11. Unforseen Influences (3:16)
12. High Noon (5:00)

Total Time 55:16

Added: January 12th 2011
Reviewer: Elias Granillo
Score:
Related Link: Winter & Winter GmbH
Hits: 2291
Language: english

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