Album of the day: Medeski Martin and Wood, "Last chance..."

Album of the day: Medeski Martin and Wood, “Last chance…”

Medeski Martin and Wood
Last Chance to Dance Trance (perhaps) (Cd Gramavision 79520)

Since their debut album “Notes from the Underground” this trio of New York musicians has attracted the attention of critics and audiences by presenting themselves as already musically mature and equipped with an uncommon instrumental confidence.
Revitalizing the Organ tradition that became popular in the '50s and '60s (organ, double bass and drums) and at the same time closely linking itself to the more radical downtown scene that took place on the stages of important venues such as Tonic and Knitting Factory, Medeski, Martin & Wood quickly gained a solid following of fans at their concerts, and after a career on the rise recording six albums for the Gramavision label they landed on the luxurious shores of Blue Note Records, which definitively consecrated them as authentic stars of the new scene -American jazz; actually

in the exciting music of this trio, jazz is only one of the ingredients and not necessarily the most predominant.

Generous doses of funk, glimpses of total improvisation, Latin American and Brazilian influences (the musicians have repeatedly paid homage to the compositional talent of Hermeto Pascoal), gospel moments and hints of shuffle and rumba, placed alongside moments of more pointed experimentalism constitute the composite panorama musical where the three move with ease avoiding (which is really important) the collage effect and the pseudo-contaminated messes that are so fashionable today.

In their music everything appears spontaneous and natural, even the most complex passages; the listener must expect continuous surprises, the improvisations that arise from years of evenings spent on stages all over the world continue to give life to different musical situations, solidly set on Wood's stainless double bass and Martin's elastic and essential rhythms.

Medeski's keyboards (mainly organ and piano) avoid nostalgia for the soloists of the past while paying homage to them
through an imaginative soloism that avoids self-congratulatory boasting to place itself at the service of collective discourse. It is precisely the fascinating intertwining of instinct and intellect that makes their music so interesting and fun to listen to and dance to; banality is banished immediately, you have the sensation of listening to something familiar and new at the same time.

Carlo Boccadoro, composer and conductor, was born in Macerata in 1963. He lives and works in Milan. He collaborates with soloists and orchestras in different parts of the world. He is the author of numerous books on musical topics.

This text is taken from “Lunario della musica: A record for every day of the year” published by Einaudi, courtesy of the author and the publisher.