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300: “Nostalgia in Times Square / Angel Race” by Medeski, Martin & Wood

At a SiriusXM recording for a porn soundtrackTo celebrate #300, I’m posting a brand spanking new one from my all-time favorite law firm! Medeski, Martin & Wood fight insurance and drug companies in court with the same rigor and enthusiasm with which they tear through and assimilate musical genres.

(John Medeski – piano / Billy Martin – percussion / Chris Wood – bass)

MMW’s latest album, Free Magic (2012), is a selection of 5 lengthy live acoustic tracks from a tour in 2007. Watching them live is the ultimate way to experience their music. If you pay attention you can see them communicating with subtle glances and gestures, steering their heavily improvised musical creations with nearly telepathic coordination. Of course, they have been together since 1991, breathing each others’ emissions and syncing up their minstrel cycles.

The reactive chemistry and interplay of their music is something to behold. It’s very much like magic, an output greater than the sum of the inputs, and these guys can make it for free if you don’t count the 21 years of practice… and the fact that you pay to listen to them. Whatev. Enjoy.

Song: Nostalgia in Times Square / Angel Race
Artist: Medeski, Martin & Wood
Album: Free Magic
Label: Indirecto Records
Buy from: MusicToday | Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

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1: “Riffin’ Ed” by Medeski, Martin & Wood

I hope to do this for a while…  Select songs to share with people and post them here.

MMW Show You A Thing.For the first post, a fairly current song from my favorite trio, MMW, a jazz(?) band out of NYC.  The song, Riffin’ Ed, is a strong acoustic offering from the trio, a band that will be featured again here.  John Medeski’s piano-work is sublime and soulful.  Billy Martin’s percussion is garage-sale-funky and well-timed.  Chris Wood’s rou-ound bass is the glue.

The song is from their Radiolarians recordings, created over the course of about a year.  They performed this formula three times: 1) write a bunch of songs, 2) play them in front of their audiences on tour, 3) record an album of the material.

Here’s a great article about the band and the Radiolarians process.  I’ll ignore the fact that they trash mp3’s as a medium in this article.  I assume they know you don’t need vinyl, vacuum tubes and gold speaker wires to really HEAR a song.  Anyone who’s fallen in love with something they heard over some crappy old car stereo speakers knows what I’m saying.  So I’ve taken their comments in the article as a hyper-sensitivity to the quality of a recording rather than snobbiness about how people should consume their music.  Yeah… I think they’d want you to buy their mp3’s.  And so do I.  Give this one a shot.

Enjoy.

Song: Riffin’ Ed
Artist: Medeski, Martin & Wood
Album: Radiolarians II
Label: Indirecto Records
Buy from: Amazon.com | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

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Watch MMW performing “Think” at the Umbria Jazz Festival several years ago.