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...
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.
The Chicago Citizen
WendingNine Winds Records
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