Kneebody and Daedalus explore jazz at Johnny Brenda's on 3/12
Kneebody | photo by Chris Clinton | courtesy of the artist

The SoCal quintet Kneebody and the stable of eclectic artists on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label have both been rethinking the meaning of “jazz,” albeit from opposite ends of the musical spectrum. Kneebody – keyboardist Adam Benjamin, trumpeter Shane Endsley, bassist Kaveh Rastegar, saxophonist Ben Wendel and drummer Nate Wood – steer a recognizable jazz quintet line-up into unexpected waters, detouring through electronica, indie rock, hip-hop and new music en route to an of-the-moment sonic palette. Spearheaded by his own uncategorizable mash-ups, meanwhile, Lotus has made Brainfeeder a home for artists who use genre as an element, not an end.

The two worlds come together on Kneedelus, the new album by Kneebody and electronic musician Daedalus, aka Alfred Darlington, who will bring their collaboration to Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday. This isn’t some thrown-together session; Wendel and Darlington have known each other since high school, and have occasionally crossed paths since through live performances and remix projects. Kneedelus, though, is a fully-realized merging of their two aesthetics, which weren’t so far apart to begin with. Their music skates easily along the electro-acoustic spectrum, blurring the lines where one ends and the other begins in service of a lush but urgent vitality. Like so much of Brainfeeder’s output, the album takes up a gauntlet thrown down by Miles Davis’ electronic experiments four decades earlier (a bloodline briefly interrupted by the ‘80s jazz neo-cons).

Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here;

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