The competitive world of modern jazz performance hasmade it essential for musicians to develop a unique and identifiable style. Saxophonist / bassoonist Ben Wendel has been on the forefront of the burgeoning progressive jazz scene for a number of years, most notably with the experimental jazz/rock band Kneebody.Wendel’s debut release Simple Song puts his unique style on full display. The Los Angeles raised saxophonist has developed a career that spans genres and disciplines. He has recorded with artists as diverse as Cuban drummer Ignacio Berroa, electronic artist Daedalus, and rap legend Snoop Dogg. Simple Song is the culmination of many of these influences into a coherent whole.
There are bits of modern classical, progressive and classic jazz (referenced by takes on the classics “Lonnie’s Lament” and “A Flower is a Lovesome Thing”) interspersed throughout. The recording utilizes the talents of a number of Wendel’s peers and some of the more influential members of the Los Angeles jazz community. The recording is a testament to the important work being produced by the next generation of jazz performers.