All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

195

Medeski, Martin & Wood: End of the World Party (Just in Case)

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Teaming the poster children for contemporary bass/drum/organ groove (Chris Wood, Billy Martin, and John Medeski, respectively) with John King, the producer of such twisted GenX pop classics as Odelay (Beck) and Paul's Boutique (Beastie Boys), updates the classic Booker T. & The MGs organ combo sound for our swirling electronic age.

King's deft production here is sleek, not slick, and it works Mark Ribot's sharp guitar into several tracks. Just like modern life, this isn't entirely a groove. "Ice" is a tone poem cold and dark and hard, for example, and you may not have to look much further than the title of "Bloody Oil," set to Wood's recurring bass figure and Medeski's haunted house organ swells, to learn how MM&W feel about the war in Iraq.

But when it is time to party, the troops still kick it balls-out funky. Martin whacks "Shine It" and "Curtis" with a rhythm-stick taped together from New Orleans second-line and '60s boogaloo drum styles, while Medeski's cool, spare acoustic piano in "Mami Gato" wastes neither motion nor note and honors such spinners of classic soul piano grooves as Les McCann and Ramsey Lewis, even against the floating time the rest of the ensemble seems to play. Medeski leads the group through liquid organ grooves in the title track and "Queen Bee," stung as if by a swarming hornet by Ribot's sharp, Steve Cropper-ish guitar licks (this sounds so much like Booker T. & The MGs that it's got to be intentional).

Ribot's concise chops slice nicely into the thick organ stew of "Reflector" while the band tosses off sharp chords that propel the rhythm and beat forward, and the tumultuous "Sasa," also pierced by Steven Bernstein's slide trumpet, like a siren screaming through an icy starless winter night.


Track Listing: Anonymous Skulls; End Of The World Party; Reflector; Bloody Oil; New Planet; Mami Gato; Shine It; Curtis; Ice; Sasa; Midnight Puppies/ Crooked Birds; Queen Bee

Personnel: John Medeski: Keyboards; Billy Martin: Drums & Percussion; Chris Wood: Basses. Guest Musicians: Marc Ribot: Guitar (3, 5, 10 & 12); Steven Bernstein: Slide Trumpet (10); Briggan Krauss: Saxophone (10); John King: a little of this, a liitle of that.

Title: End of the World Party (Just in Case) | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "In The Blue Light" CD/LP/Track Review In The Blue Light
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "The Tronosonic Experience" CD/LP/Track Review The Tronosonic Experience
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 9, 2017
Read "This Was Now" CD/LP/Track Review This Was Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 27, 2018
Read "speak between" CD/LP/Track Review speak between
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 3, 2018
Read "Interchange" CD/LP/Track Review Interchange
by Don Phipps
Published: August 2, 2018
Read "Balagan Cafe Band" CD/LP/Track Review Balagan Cafe Band
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 10, 2018