Medeski, Martin & Wood Live Free Magic 180g 2LP
180 Gram Double Vinyl! 2007 First Ever Acoustic Tour!
Medeski Martin & Wood dip into their archives to present a collection of
recordings documenting their first-ever acoustic tour in 2007. This set,
stretching out over five expansive tracks, captures the three intrepid
improvisers exploring the telepathic hookup and deep groove sensibility that has
defined MMW since its inception in 1991.
Indirecto Records releases Medeski Martin & Wood Live: Free Magic, a collection
of never before released rare acoustic performances. John Medeski takes a
break from his array of analogue synthesizers and organ to get back to his roots
on the piano. Meanwhile, Chris Wood digs in deep to his bass, laying the
foundation for Billy Martin's heavy grooves and rhythmic intricacies.
Free Magic starts with a track off of MMW's 20 series, Doppler, a tribute
sounding introduction morphing into a slow and funky groove. Blues For
Another Day changes the pace with a fast paced flurry of notes from John,
matched by Billy's unconventional accompaniment. Free Magic opens with
John, Billy and Chris stretching the sonic abilities of their instruments.
Chris and John then introduce the haunting Vergessene Seelen. John takes
things back almost twenty years with an acoustic version of Where's Sly from
MMW's album "It's a Jungle In Here". The guys then tackle Charles Mingus's
classic Nostalgia in Time Square, transitioning naturally into Sun Ra's Angel
"Free Magic: Live is the first release of by trio Medeski Martin & Wood from
its third decade of existence. Maybe I should repeat that. This disc is by a
jazz band that has remained intact for more than 21 years. Like a family, the
trio has born musical genres, specifically the infamous jamband phenomena,
matured, and branched out from electric to eclectic... This disc follows the
live Scofield collaboration, MSMW Live: In Case the World Changes Its Mind, and
digital-only "20". Recorded on an all-acoustic tour, these five tracks evidence
a hard working trio in full flight".
"The opener, bassist Chris Wood's "Doppler," initially finds drummer Billy
Martin seeking a groove on the xylophone-sounding African balaphone, while
pianist John Medeski works simultaneously on melodica and a toy piano. The music
gives way to a piano trio soul-jazz groove as infectious as any mid-1960s Blue
Note offering. This is MMW at its finest, Martin shuffling the beat to Wood's
rock-solid timekeeping. The genius of this band is that it can disassemble a
song and put it all back together almost effortlessly. "Blues For Another Day"
opens in mayhem, Medeski pounding notes à la Cecil Taylor, before the band
settles into a gospel-tinged blues. The band feeds off a hypnotizing delivery,
both in groove/swing and in instant composing. The title track begins with a
metal-on-metal-themed improvisation, drawing attention to the acoustic nature of
this tour. The band expands and expands its simple "Where's Sly" until it
becomes an anthem that is bejeweled with Billy Martin's extended drum solo.
"The band ends at its beginnings. The homage medley "Nostalgia In Times
Square/Angel Race," transfuses Charles Mingus' soul into the stratosphere of Sun
Ra's explorations. As with any MMW performance, the destination is not as
important as the musical journey." - Mark Corroto, allaboutjazz.com, October
Venues: McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ; The Grand Opera House in Willington, DE; The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA
• 180 Gram Double Vinyl
• Mastered by Alan Silverman
• Limited time download included
John Medeski, piano, shruti box, melodica, mylotica
Billy Martin, drums, percussion
Chris Wood, bass
LP1 - Side A:
LP1 - Side B:
1. Blues For Another Day
LP2 - Side C:
1. Free Magic/Ballade in C minor, "Vergessene Seelen"
2. Nostalgia In Times Square / Angel Race
LP2 - Side D:
1. Where's Sly