BIG EARS
Sam Gendel Concert Group

Sam Gendel Concert Group

with Gabe Noel & Phil Melanson

Sat   Apr   01   2023 - 2:00 PM The Standard

Los Angeles saxophonist Sam Gendel is an inveterate collaborator and a restless spirit. He’s turned up in countless contexts with artists across the musical spectrum, and sometimes it’s hard to define exactly what he does, which seems to be the point. At least, sometimes.

He made his beguiling 2020 album Satin Doll with bassist Gabe Noel and electronic percussionist Philippe Melanson. There’s a palpable ardor to the delicacy of his playing on this collection of mostly jazz standards, which are fed through plastic electronic treatments that muddy his sound and could blur his intent if the performances weren’t so convincingly tender. As Pitchfork wrote of the album, “Rather than extrapolate on the original melodies, Gendel’s group instead reveal alien qualities inside them. Gendel’s closest predecessors might be Jon Hassell and Ben Neill, but he also nods to the slurred aesthetic of West Coast and Southern rap.” He and his partners aren’t interested in acrobatic virtuosity or self-conscious stylistic collisions. Instead, there’s an instinctual quality to the music that feels germane to the current polyglot Los Angeles creative music community.

BIG EARS
Knoxville, TN · USA

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