All of Kneebody’s music is learned by ear and memorized, which adds to the organic fluidity of their performances. It's loud, it grooves hard, and it’s easy to dance to. An energetic combination, and while quieter individuals like myself would enjoy hearing some ballads thrown into the mix, the sound is obviously a hit with young people, if the massive crowd of dancing people in their early 20's were any indication. The band also has a sarcastic and nerdy sense of humor about them, as evidenced by song titles such as “Nerd Mountain,” “Teddy Ruxpin,” “Play Hard, Towel Hard,”and “Blorp.” That, in addition to the informal rapport that the band members had when addressing the audience, created a more relatable and intimate experience for the young crowd than one would typically find at a jazz concert.
On the second night, Theo Bleckman helped bring to life the music of Judee Sill, a beautiful, if relatively obscure singer-songwriter from the late 1960's and early 70's. It was the softer side of Kneebody, as the band performed intimate and relatively quiet interpretations of the music. Bleckman's voice is soft yet stately, and his version of Sill's hit “Lady O” was exceptionally beautiful. The real party, however, was the third night, when Kneebody invited California based drummer Louis Cole, and singer Genevieve Artadi to perform a set of their own music.
Cole and Artadi's music has been gaining more and more recognition through their numerous homemade YouTube music videos, and it was tremendous to see a band of Kneebody's stature paying tribute to a young and innovative musical duo. Parts jazz, drum and bass, and electronica, their music is rhythmically and harmonically sophisticated, while still being catchy and very danceable. Cole's drumming, while not as technically showy as Wood's, achieves a deep unstoppable groove. Artadi distinguished herself from the previous vocalists with an physically energetic performance, dancing around the stage, and getting the audience moving with her. The fourth night, which I was unable to attend featured renowned soul singer/bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, (a special guest who, due to Ms. Ndegeocello's other engagements, was kept secret until the last second), I've been informed that it was an awesome night of deeply grooving music.
- Ben Wendel – Saxophone, Bassoon
- Shane Endsley – Trumpet
- Adam Benjamin – Fender Rhodes
- Kaveh Rastegar – Electric Bass
- Nate Wood – Drums
- Mark Guillana – Drums
- Gretchen Parlato – Voice
- Theo Bleckman – Voice
- Louis Cole – Drums
- Genevieve Artadi – Voice