I was first introduced to the playing of saxophonist Ben Wendel through his work with the genre-defying band Kneebody.
After listening to the band's records countless times, I had the privilege of seeing them perform live at Bennington College a few years back and was blown away not only by Ben's playing but how personable he was after the show. We've kept in touch over the years and I was elated when he sent me a pre-release version of his new record Simple Song this winter.
Simple Song is a collection of nine original compositions - as well as an arrangement of John Coltrane's "Lonnie's Lament" and a beautifully orchestrated version of Billy Strayhorn's "A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing" - featuring Ben on soprano and tenor sax as well as melodica and bassoon! The music is intricately composed and arranged but highly accessible.
I've been listening to this record a lot and encourage you to do the same. "Simple Song" is out now and available from iTunes and the countless other places music is sold online.