This event is 21 and over.
$30.00 – General Admission
*plus applicable service fees
Tickets available at The Independent box office (628 Divisadero, SF) with no service charge.
All doors & show times subject to change.
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As the bandleader on David Bowie’s final album Blackstar, saxophonist Donny McCaslin witnessed firsthand the musician’s penchant for reinvention. With his upcoming studio album — a daring fusion of vibrant electronica, and bombastic alt-rock due this fall — McCaslin applied that mindset to his own work. “Before working with him, things like this didn’t seem possible to me,” McCaslin says of his new material, which arrives two decades into an acclaimed career. “The affirmation of that project and how wonderfully that turned out artistically — I feel like anything is possible now.”
The first taste McCaslin has offered from his forthcoming full-length is “What About the Body,” a raucous, propulsive blast of improvisational alternative music that encapsulates his bold new direction. For the single, McCaslin recruited Blackstar bassist Tim Lefebvre and “brilliant songwriter and lyricist” Ryan Dahle (Limblifter, Mounties). The track’s heady blend of saxophone and flute, pianos and Wurlitzer, electric bass and pummeling drums captures McCaslin’s core roots while also bringing in more recent influences such as Radiohead and Bon Iver. And delivered by Dahle, the tune’s forceful lyrics — “Left-wing, right-wing / What about the body?” — hint at modern unrest. “One interpretation could be the state of America right now,” McCaslin explains. “To me, that’s a provocative thought: What about the body, the soul of America?” Taken together, the elements signify McCaslin’s next thrilling chapter.
Sixteen years in and the genre-bending electric jazz collective Kneebody is stronger than ever. On the heels of their recent groundbreaking collaboration with electronic musician Daedelus, the band returned to the studio refreshed and armed with a slate of road-tested tunes for their ninth studio album. Kneebody made their Motéma Music debut with the release of Anti-Hero, the pulsating result of that creative rebirth, featuring an assured set of churning backbeats and unrestrained exploration.
Kneebody’s sound is… explosive rock energy paralleled with high-level nuanced chamber ensemble playing, with highly wrought compositions that are balanced with adventurous no-holds-barred improvising. All “sounds-like” references can be set aside; this band has created a genre and style all its own.
Kneebody bassist Kaveh Rastegar thinks of their sound this way, “Personally, I think calling Kneebody ‘jazz’ or ‘electric jazz’ is fantastic because then we can move on from that hang up and play our music – and alter expectations of what ‘jazz’ is.”
Kneebody is keyboardist Adam Benjamin, trumpeter Shane Endsley, electric bassist Kaveh Rastegar, saxophonist Ben Wendel and drummer Nate Wood. The band has no leader or rather, each member is the leader; they’ve developed their own musical language, inventing a unique cueing system that allows them each to change the tempo, key, style, and more in an instant.
Kneebody draws upon influences spanning D’Angelo’s Voodoo to music by Elliot Smith, Bill Frisell, and Miles Davis. Their live shows are known for intense sonic landscapes of the Radiohead ilk, for the rhythmic bombast of a Squarepusher or Queens of the Stone Age show, and the harmonic depth and improvisational freedom experienced at a Brad Mehldau concert.
In 2005, Kneebody released their debut self-titled album Kneebody on Dave Douglas’ Greenleaf Music Label. Low Electrical Worker followed in 2007 on the Colortone Label. A collection of 13 original songs, Low Electrical Worker was hailed by saxophonist Joshua Redman as one of his “favorite albums of 2007.” In the spring of 2009, Kneebody and vocalist Theo Bleckmann released 12 Songs of Charles Ives on the Winter & Winter label and received a Grammy Award nomination in the “classical crossover” category. 2013 saw the release of The Line for Concord Records. In 2015, Kneebody’s groundbreaking collaboration with electronic musician Daedelus on Kneedelus was released on Flying Lotus’ imprint Brainfeeder records to praise from critics and audiences alike. Kneebody made their Motéma Music debut album Anti-Hero in March of 2017.