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Jim Knodle

Primary Instrument: Trumpet

Jim Knodle

As a trumpet player, I have a reputation for eclecticism and originality springing from a desire to play the trumpet in a definitely “un-trumpetish” fashion.As far as Jazz goes I'm indebted mainly to saxophonists- Ornette Coleman, Paul Desmond, Stan Getz, and Eric Dolphy. Of course, who could disregard past and present trumpet geniuses such as Louis Armstrong, Cootie Williams, Henry “Red” Allen, Ruby Braff, Miles Davis, Don Cherry, Freddy Webster, Booker Little, Art Farmer, Barbara Donald, and others. This has not always been an advantage from a career standpoint. I'm usually considered a little too out for the Ins and a little too in for the Outs, but that's just where I want to be...
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    Unprepared

    Louie Records
    2003
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    Wending

    Nine Winds Records
    2003

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Progressively agile, while being nothing short of hard free-bop, is an accurate description of trumpeter Jim Knodle's band, Anasi. Taking its name from the trickster of many African fables, Knodle's new disc, “Wending,” (on the Nine Winds label), is a great debut.

Knodle puts together a fine program that lasts less than 50 minutes - - which is quite short, considering most compact discs clock in at least around 65 minutes. Nonetheless, the music is well thought out. It is executed in such a fashion as to give rise to the notion of being wholly improvised. While improvisation is the key, Knodle's writing proves fresh and innovative.

Beginning with the title composition, an intense and swinging number, we also get an earthy feel. Anasi is comprised of the solid trombonist Michael Vlatkovich, guitarist Paul Sawyer, pianist Lynette Westendorf, bassist Dan O'Brien and drummer Don Berman.

The track “M.D.D. - Four 4” is dedicated to Miles Davis. A pithy and intriguing hard bop melody finds Knodle and crew sounding as if they are right on stage. The disc has a neighborhood tavern feel without sounding too greasy or bluesy. The group rocks back and forth through several modes and meters in a navigational suite. Nothing slick. Just as it has been said, this is “meat and potatoes” jazz.

Recorded in 1999, “Wending” is just now seeing the light of day. And while it is not an earth-shattering recording, the jazz world should take notice. Knodle & Anasi are class acts with plenty to share.

L.A.Emenari III

The Chicago Citizen

Primary Instrument: Trumpet

Location: Seattle, WA

Willing to teach: Beginners

Rank: 11,133 Views: 2,497
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