285: “Deep In A Fried Pickle” by Billy Martin & Wil Blades

Ok, guys, give me your best I'll-kick-your-ass face.If you’re doing it right, every once in a while, you look at an amazing sunset or a beautiful person’s rear end and think to yourself, “Holy Hunks of Inter-Dimensional Is-ness, it is amazing that I am alive and that I am able to witness THIS. THIS RIGHT HERE… High five, Universe. Thanks for having me.”

And if you’re picking your music well, you might wind up listening to Shimmy (2012) by Billy Martin on skins (of Medeski, Martin & Wood) and Wil Blades on the keys. And you might just think… THIS RIGHT HERE.

The album just dropped, and it’s worth earhole insertion. Word on the street: Billy Martin wasn’t getting his quota of funky keyboard licks from bandmate John Medeski, and stepped out to two-time with Blades, who is on a less astral plane than Medeski and dispenses funky licks freely. That is how I would write the movie version, anyway.

There are a few smoking tracks on Shimmy, but I humbly submit “Deep In A Fried Pickle” as the single greatest trizzle on the bizzle.

You don’t need to understizzle. Just enjizzle.

Song: Deep In A Fried Pickle
Artist: Billy Martin & Wil Blades
Album: Shimmy
Label: The Royal Potato Family
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

115: “Hey Joe” by Medeski, Martin & Wood

It's so obvious that John Medeski just farted in this picture.I shan’t post songs by the same artist very many times.  These guys deserve a double-post (see original post).

The notion of hearing a jazz piano trio cover Jimi Hendrix has a great deal of potential to initiate your gag reflex.  Medeski, Martin & Wood calls bullcrap on that.  French intended.

First video: a recording from an intimate live performance of “Hey Joe” at Tonic in NYC.  For some reason it has 3 1/2 minutes of dead time at the end.

Second video: a lo-def video recording of “Hey Joe” at a jazz festival from 2001 (thanks, astute readers!!).  Marc Ribot sits in for a smoking solo on this soul-searing rendition of one of Hendrix’s finest.  Mais, oui.

Always improvise.  And enjoy.

Song: Hey Joe
Artist: Medeski, Martin & Wood
Album: Tonic
Label: Blue Note
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

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.


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


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