"All-Star-Formation of Berlin's jazz scene. Bebop for the 21st century. (...) the music is played with a rambunctuous joy and pulls you in. There's always something new going on but the listener is carefully taken along for the ride in an impressive fashion."
Jazzthing #101, Rolf Thomas
"Field is one of Berlin's most promising new formations to come along in a while, nothing less than another "Supergroup" of the Berlin scene. Each of the nine songs is a microcosmos of musical inventions, climaxes and surprises."
Jazzpodium 11/13, Rainer Bratfisch
"Out of the many blubbering expressive bubbles emerging from the art underground of the German capital, Field shows its strengths as a curious and crafty band in which the solos of the four players are but a means to an end of their common music making and music research."
Concerto, 10-11/13, 4 1/2 stars
"The Berlin-born Saxophonist Uli Kempendorff brushes aside all the walls between tradition and avantgarde. This CD doesn't require many words - it should simply be listened to as often as possible."
Wolf Kampmann, Jazzthetik 1-2/11, 5 stars
"Berlin has a very rich Jazz Szene and the Uli Kempendorff Quartet, which was just hosted by the JazzClub Heidelberg at the DAI, belongs to one of the city´s most promising young formations. Even better then, that the four musicians are loyal to the ideas of the avantgarde and combine the audacious with the evocative in an exciting way. (...)
The band leader´s solos intensive colours flow in an unagitated and elegant way. Oliver Steidle, multiple winner of the Mannheim Jazz Award is a dervish on the drums. With Jonas Westergaard on bass the quartet created an open interplay which is as comfortable destructung harmony and melody as it is in freely navigating between mutual acceleration and slowing down. (...)
An free interplay which always keeps an ear out for the logic interwovenness and exciting connections.
Rainer Kohl, Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, 5.3.2012
"Musical mimicry is not Kempendorff´s thing. His music hits the ear in a noticeably distinctive way.( ...) The imaginative song structures and varied concepts and approaches to improvisation are astonishing. The angular themes are complex and the song titles make sensible references to their musical content. (...) This music hardly ever evokes a feeling of déjà-vu, a blessing to the ever hungry jazz listener´s ear and an addition to the German Jazz scene to build one´s hopes on.
Benno Bartsch, Jazzpodium 06/10
"Celebrating their new release, the Uli Kempendorff Quartett brings a distinct sound to the modern jazz scene. The improvisations work well together, producing an accessible sound for even the most unschooled of listeners. Worth a listen."
John Brendan, Exberliner, December 2010, http://www.exberliner.com/events/uli-kempendorff-quartett
"Overall, the most affecting aural memory from the disc is the interplay between the saxophonist and the guitarist. To wit: flutter tonguing, twisting slurs and staccato trills on the saxophonist’s part are met by the guitar’s contrapuntal picking, skittering and mirrored note clusters or sprayed timbre decorations.
Similarly constituted in personnel, but completely different sounding CDs, both discs provide ample showcase for the band members’ multi-talents. On reflection, though, it appears that sonic cooperation is more obvious – and satisfying – on the German than the British session."
--Ken Waxman, double review on www.jazzword.com, July 22, 2011
ON OTHER PROJECTS
Jazzthetik on the JazzTage in Leipzig 2013 with Rudi Mahall:
"Here (at NaTo) too, the house was packed at this late hour and the mood exuberant. Robert Lucaciu (b) and Philip Scholz (dr) had invited the pianist Yves Theiler and the Saxophonists and clarinetists Uli Kempendorff and Rudi Mahall who put on an incredible show. In contrast to the show at the opera house, here everything was close and direct and loud. The familiar atmosphere of a cosy club is something altogether different - especially if you have great jazz musicians and gifted entertainers on stage."
on Tomson Highway und Patty Cano:
"Best spoken word performance Tomson Highway at the Voix d'Amériques. The superb piano player delighted audiences with his stories, as interpreted by vocalist Patty Cano and saxophonist Uli Kempendorff. A remarkable evening: The entire audience was held in a trance."
Anita Rau Badami, Montreal, Canada December 14th, 2006, Year in Review, www.hour.ca
“If this doesn’t warm your heart - what will?”
"a cheeky, cheerful folk album..."
Frank von Niederhäusern, KULTURtipp, CH, 18.3.2015
"Yellow Bird's innovative and witty playfulness makes the band rise above the fray of the current flood of Bluegrass and Alternative Country...their original compositions are convincing, too - played with unusual instrumentations featuring bass clarinet and ukulele and a jazz-inspired fresh spirit."
FRS, GOOD TIMES, 18.3.2015
"One thing is for sure: we don't need to fly across oceans (or make artists do that), to hear some jaw dropping, awesome music...Yellow Bird also has impeccable taste when it comes to picking their cover songs and traditionals...This CD certainly made a rainy day a lot brighter for me and I hope it will do the same for many music lovers out there!"
Johanna B. Bodde, INSURGENT COUNTRY, 7.3.2015
"And before the listener knows it, 43 surprising and entertaining minutes fly by. This Album will be played over and over in people's homes. And in this case, this is not a threat..."
- Maximilian Nitzke, CDSTARTS, 7.3.2015
“As soon as the CD disappears into the player and the first note sounds, we are unavoidably drawn to the music - this is unruly fun for the ears.”
- Franz X.A. Zipperer, JAZZTHETIK
3.3.2015, Rating: 4/4 stars
"...refreshing and original. Yiiiieeeehaaaw!"
- Tina Adomako, MELODIVA, 24.2.2015
"Yellow Bird is great. The combo has its heart in the right place and the courage to add a bit of humor or cheeky lightness to the earnestness of the songs. Chapeau, Yellow Bird!"
- Joachim 'Joe' Brookes, ROCKTIMES, 24.2.2015
"...interesting and recommendable."
- Ullrich Maurer, GÄSTELISTE, 23.2.2015
“(Yellow Bird) pays hommage to roots music and Americana, but does so with an unmistakable jazz-influenced approach. As a result, the folk and country classics obtain an ease and lightness which is bound to irritate traditionalists, but does the songs a world of good.”
- Thomas Winkler, TAZ, 19.2.2015
“Z Z Z Z” (= 4/4 stars)
- Victoriah Szirmai, ZITTY, 19.2.2015
“This quintet is bursting with individuality, non-conformism and musical wit - the Yellow Bird has to be kept alive, it must soar high and triumphantly.”
- Ernst Weiss, CONCERTO, 2.2.2015
"Berlin doesn't have any hills to speak of. Neither does it have dangerous canyons. On their brilliant debut, Yellow Bird conjure up a trip through the Appalachians with their Hillbilly-Sound."
- Ralf Thürsam, MAZ, 1.2.2015
"Next to the fast to gentle interpretations, the acapella "A Thing" or the title track "Sing" make more than a good impression - ready for Opryland."
- Uli Lemke, Jazzthing, 31.1.2015
“a contemporary, urban review of pop music’s roots: melancholy, subtle and self-ironic.”
- Stefan Hentz, DIE ZEIT, 27.11.2014
"Cheerful songs with sad stories - Yellow Bird brings down the house in Gedelitz. (...)luckily there are bands like Yellow Bird, (...) because they infuse American Roots Music with Jazz, or vice versa, and this does the old songs a world of good...It was a pleasure to hear the two singers blending their great voices in a traditional and rootsy way on one hand - Kahle often accompanied them with the Ukulele - and the band following suit in a rowdy Jazz vein. Fascinating."
- Elbe-Jeetzel-Zeitung, 25.08.2014
"Yellow Bird arrange their repertoire with a keen sense for the musical traditions of North America and uncover the roots of today's Country music or different styles of the Blues."
- MOZ, 3.9.2011