Medeski, Martin, Wood, Friends and Guests
Medeski Martin and Wood performed a special three-set show at Brooklyn, NY’s Masonic Temple last night. Billed as “Medeski Martin and Wood & ?,” the show was divided in to an opening MMW set, a middle set of MMW tunes and improvisations featuring an assortment of guests subbing in and out for each member of the trio, and a final set of complete MMW with additional guests sitting in. The song selection spanned almost the entirety of MMW’s recorded career, ranging from a 1st set take on Friday Afternoon In The Universe’s “Sequel” to an assortment of tracks off last year’s anniversary album 20.
As scheduled, the first set was trio-only, and ran through more recognizable tunes than the following two sets, primarily consisting of Radiolarians and 20 material, as well as the set-closing “Sequel.” The second, and most genuinely unique set, opened with an improv piece, with Anthony Coleman taking Medeski’s place behind the keyboards. Later in the set, Medeski was replaced again, with Marco Benevento taking his seat for a very “Chubb Sub”-esque jam. Martin and Wood got in on the replacement action as well, with G. Calvin Weston and Adam Deitch occupying the drummer’s throne, and Oren Bloedow as well as tubaist Bob Stewart managing the low end in Wood’s place. Only Bloedow and Deitch performed on already-existing compositions, “Just Like I Pictured It” and “Fuck You Guys” respectively, while the rest of the tunes were open improvisations (Deitch sported a shirt that had the slogan “dubstep ruined by life throughout his segment). The emphasis on improv continued through the third set, with the trio anchoring a number of ubiquitous NYC musicians adding to MMW’s sonic soup, including Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid, and particularly long-time MMW cohort DJ Logic who sat in on half of the final set, including “Start/Stop”, a collaborative track between the DJ and the band from their Blue Note debut Combustication. High quality clips from the show have already been posted to youtube, which display a number of high-definition cameras filming the event, suggesting a possible future DVD release.