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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matt Wilson Quartet + John Medeski: Gathering Call

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Drummer Matt Wilson is certainly mercurial. Not only can he be found playing in all manner and format, working with everyone from Myra Melford to John Zorn to Elvis Costello, he regularly leads two quartets: Arts & Crafts, and this one, featuring roiling windman Jeff Lederer, cornetist Kirk Knuffke} and bassist Chris Lightcap. Augmented here by ubiquitous Boston-based pianist John Medeski, the MWQ turns in a diverse brace of tunes, held together by sequencing and two throat-clearers, the title track and the aptly titled “Dreamscape."Recorded in one day, “Gathering Call" sounds spontaneous; the craft undoubtedly went into the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matt Wilson Quartet + John Medeski: Gathering Call

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Drummer Matt Wilson may define the ideal of unabashed enthusiasm better than anyone else in jazz. His cymbals and drums even seem to be smiling when he sets sticks to them, so it should come as no shock that musical zeal is a key factor in the success of Gathering Call. For his eleventh album as a leader, this musical ray of positive energy called on his quartet and added an important guest to the mix; he reunited with his old friend and former band mate in the late '80s edition of Russ Gershon's Either/Orchestra--pianist John Medeski. The resultant music ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matt Wilson Quartet + John Medeski: Gathering Call

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When he is not occupying the drum chair of one of dozens of bands that he is called upon to inject with his contagious effervescence, drummer Matt Wilson can be found leading his two bands, Arts & Crafts and the Matt Wilson Quartet. Both quartets feature stellar bassists, Arts & Crafts--Martin Wind and here, Chris Lightcap. Where the former employs the talents of pianist/organist Gary Versace, the Quartet sails without keys. That is, until Wilson invites John Medeski as a guest for the Quartet's fourth release. Following That's Gonna Leave A Mark (Palmetto, 2009), Wilson substituted cornetist Kirk ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Medeski: A Different Time

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John Medeski's A Different Time certainly lives up to its title. It is both everything and nothing like what might be expected from a musician whose stock in trade is a concerted effort to avoid the predictable, as a charter member of Medeski Martin & Wood, in the course of his many live solo efforts and in group settings with guitarists Will Bernard and David Fuczynski or last year's tribute to Tony Williams, Spectrum Road.As such this solo piano recording bears little of the familiar influences (Thelonius Monk, Art Tatum) Medeski has utilized to forge his unique approach ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Medeski: A Different Time

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Organ ace John Medeski dons the mask of a left-leaning jazzer teetering on the brink of the jam band precipice when he appears with his co-lead super trio, Medeski, Martin & Wood (MMW), or in any number of other contexts, but that's his public face; his private pianistic side is on display on the aptly title A Different Time. Medeski returns to his alone-at-the-piano roots here, looking back to a time when intimate, measured self-expression reigned supreme in the world, and in his own developing musical persona. This thematic umbrella covers the entirety of his first solo ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Medeski & Lee Shaw: Together Again: Live At The Egg

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John Medeski is one of the jazz world's best-known and most accomplished keyboard players--but he had to begin learning jazz somewhere. That somewhere was with pianist, composer and teacher Lee Shaw, in late '70s Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Over 30 years later, as the title of their album makes plain, Medeski and Shaw are Together Again: Live At The Egg on a joyously musical date from the Albany, New York venue recorded on April 5, 2009. It's a date made possible by bassist Rich Syracuse and drummer Jeff “Siege" Siegel, who deserve special thanks for organizing the gig. ...

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John Medeski: Mad Science

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The sight of John Medeski performing on stage--his brow furrowed by intense concentration--can be intimidating. Armed with an arsenal of instruments both traditional and unconventional, he concocts sonic combinations most listeners would never have otherwise conceived. It's obvious that he's there to work--not play. Like a mad scientist who's been stuck in his lab for months, Medeski proudly shows off the results of his experiments, making the listener sit up and take notice...perhaps even notes. The doctor is in session. Off stage, however, Medeski's intensity morphs into an unbridled enthusiasm for music. He's happy to be ...



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