TAS Rated 4/5 Music, 4/5 Sonics in the February 2021 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
High Heart is the fifth album by Ben Wendel. Interest in the US saxophonist and composer has surged in recent years, and the new album is a definitive statement of where he stands in his career and as one of the finest musicians of his generation. The album is a personal statement and a reflection on his own journey through a society of increasing complexity, over-saturation, and social imbalance. It is an a
With his technical fluency, strategic melodic thinking and cleanly dusted tone, Wendel has become an idol to an entire generation of young tenor saxophone students.
Ben Wendel has given us a standout album that is at once challenging, inspiring, and an advance - but most importantly, one that lives up to its title.
By incorporating Michael Mayo's wordless vocals into the mix and including two superb keyboardists, Shai Maestro and Gerald Clayton, Wendel creates an ethereal backdrop for his brawny tenor to sail over, as on the stirring title track, the ominous 'Fearsome' and the minimalist and moody 'Darling.' Wendel's tenor lays out entirely on the atmospheric 'Less' and the hymn-like 'Traveler.' But he flaunts raging chops on the edgy, angular, chops-busting workout 'Burning Bright,' the suite-like 'Kindly,' and the kinetic funk-fusion of 'Drawn Away,' all of which have him locked in tight, tricky unisons with Mayo's voice.
- Vinyl LP
- Made in the EU
|Ben Wendel||tenor saxophone, bassoon, EFX, piano, Wurlitzer|
|Michael Mayo||vocals, EFX|
|Shai Maestro||piano, Fender Rhodes|
|Gerald Clayton||piano, Fender Rhodes|
|Joe Sanders||double bass|
- High Heart
- Burning Bright
- Drawn Away