Amazon.com Widgets

Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood: Out Louder (2007)

By Published: | 5,782 views
Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood: Out Louder How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

I got to the Medeski, Martin & Wood party late and left early. Combustication (Blue Note, 1998), a funk gumbo masterpiece with a generous side order of knowing jazz references, was and remains a satisfying meal. But neither The Dropper (Blue Note, 2000) nor Uninvisible (Blue Note, 2002) did it for me: the episodic, cut and paste tunes and generally short track playing times were irritating. The band clearly had attitude, vision and a good weed dealer, but they needed to work on their attention span, not just flit from one idea to another like butterflies. Underwhelmed, I missed End Of The World Party (Just In Case) (Blue Note, 2004) completely.



Guitarist John Scofield too has disappointed more often than delivered. Plenty of technique, not enough soul: the funkier he tried to get, the less he convinced. Uberjam (Verve, 2002) in particular seemed like a bad case of the emperor's new clothes.



But maybe the creator does have a master plan, for somehow Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood's Out Louder found its way onto the player—and it's a delight, an arresting, inventive, developmental and groovalicious stew of funk, rock and jazz confusion. It's the second recording by the quartet, following the Scofield-led A Go Go (Verve, 1998), but this time an explicitly collaborative effort, and it brings out the best in all concerned.



There are two discs. The first is a 62-minute studio recording made in January 2006, the second a 45-minute selection of tunes from a gig at The Bowery Ballroom in New York near the end of the year. Perhaps unexpectedly, the studio disc is the strongest. Scofield's linear, narrative approach, which favors a beginning, middle and end, complements and focuses MM&W's penchant for vertical slices of texture and ambience. Certainly, John Medeski's B3 on Scofield's opening "Little Walter Rides Again," which is actually a lot more Booker T & The MGs than Walter, has never sounded bigger or fatter. He swamps the speakers with billowing great washes of sound and sustains his ideas through a satisfying sequence of tension and release.



Other standouts include the close on 11-minute "Down The Tube," a dangerous mess of funk driven by massive, near inchoate slabs of bass and deep organ, and "What Now," which builds into an out there collective thrash. There isn't a bum track included, and along the way the mood varies with the South Asian-cum-Latin American "Tequila And Chocolate," and a surprisingly effective five-minute reinvention of Lennon & McCartney's "Julia," whose melodic and harmonic recalibrations put the sentimentality of the original wholly out of mind.

Visit Medeski, Martin & Wood and John Scofield on the web.

Track Listing: CD1: Little Walter Rides Again; Miles Behind; In Case The World Changes Its Mind; Tequila And Chocolate; Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine Thing; Cachaca; Hanuman; Telegraph; What Now; Julia; Down The Tube; Legalize It. CD2: A Go Go; Cachaca; The Tube; Amazing Grace; Deadzy; What Now.

Personnel: John Medeski: keyboards; John Scofield: guitar; Chris Wood: basses; Billy Martin: drums and percussion.

Record Label: Indirecto Records

Style: Funk/Groove


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

A musician was found with a matching name

Name:

Birthday:

Instrument:

Is this you?