Knock Out

Knock Out

by Dieter Reith



Dieter Reith's Knock Out is one of the many reasons Germany's MPS label has such a stellar reputation. This date features the great German composer and keyboardist with a stellar band that would be worth hearing no matter what they played: Jamaican saxophonist Wilton "Bogey" Gaynair, the iconic (and iconoclastic) percussionist Sabu Martinez, drummer Todd Canedy, and bassist Dave King (formerly of avant Krautrockers Embryo). Musically, Knock Out walks a killer line between CTI-styled jazz-funk, early Euro-disco, rock, and propulsive modern jazz. Reith's various keyboards add all kinds of textures and sounds to the palette of roiling bass, breaking drums, and bubbling percussion. All four tunes are long, full of labyrinthine twists and turns akin in many ways to what Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter were composing for Weather Report during the era. On the opening title track, Reith's knotty use of the Rhodes piano in the main body of the tune is appended by synths emulating flute and strings in the midsection, adding space and dimension. The interplay between King and Canedy is lockstep and hard-grooving, while Martinez colors everything with his intuitive syncopation and funk. "Day Dreamer" alters tonal exploration on the keys, colored by echo and reverb, with an Afro-Caribbean tinge that also manages to quote directly from "Caravan" after the midpoint and features a stellar solo by Gaynair. Reith delivers a long intricate acoustic piano solo as an intro to the last number, "Dark Green," before Gaynair's soprano, King, and Canedy join the fray, threatening to explode. Instead they pick up on a modal vamp and let Martinez act as the bridge-builder between rhythmic strains and the melody becomes infectious, a true finger-popper, before the various soloists take their turns. Despite Reith's many accomplishments before (as one of the architects of Peter Herbolzheimer's Rhythm Combination & Brass) or after this (as a film composer and bandleader), Knock Out is one of the crowning achievements -- if not the crowning achievement -- in his career.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/18/2014
Label: Mps-Jazz
UPC: 4029759097396
catalogNumber: 209739

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