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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo from the cover of "Frame" (Sunnyside Records)

Reedist Ben Wendel has a new recording to share with you. This Friday and Saturday, we will be celebrating the release of Frame (Sunnyside), Ben’s sophomore release, with performances at The Jazz Gallery.

The music on Frame was written during and just after Ben’s move to New York from his native (west) coast. Sunnyside Records notes that the album ” traces the emotional arc of that period — the bittersweet tang of leaving the familiar co-existing with the tense expectancy of new experience”, adding, “…ultimately what the album amounts to is a framing of the self — a self-portrait by an artist who’s come to define his own singular voice.”

We’ve been watching Ben develop that voice for quite some time – he first appeared at The Gallery with the collectively-led outfit Kneebody in 2004, and first played here under his own name in 2009. Frame features several of Ben’s longtime collaborators: Kneebody bandmates Adam Benjamin and Nate Wood anchor the group, which also includes other Jazz Gallery regulars such as Gerald Clayton, Tigran Hamasyan, Nir Felder, and Ben Street.

Stream “Chorale”, one of the album’s nine new pieces, below. If you’re hungry for more, you can find another exclusive track on Ben’s Facebook page.

[audio http://www.jazzspeaks.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Chorale-2.mp3]

UPDATE: Ben’s new album will be spotlighted on WBGO’s The Checkout tonight at 6:30 p.m. Also featured will be Jonathan Blake, who’s CD release concert will be held next Tuesday at The Gallery.