246

Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood: Out Louder

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood: Out Louder During the early 1990s, Medeski, Martin & Wood conjured up a heady, groove-oriented style that coincided with the increasingly rhythm-oriented approach John Scofield was developing. A year before the trio made the leap to Blue Note, those parallel paths intersected in 1998: MMW accompanied the guitarist in the studio on A Go Go (Verve), and they went on to perform some very selected live dates together. More than halfway into the not-so-new millennium, Scofield and MMW are collaborating again, and on a more egalitarian basis.

The quartet used MMW's own Indirecto record label to release the appropriately titled Out Louder, a decidedly looser, but no less funky CD than its predecessor. The opening cut, "Little WalterRides Again, absolutely smolders. Like the happily goofy and enigmatically titled "Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine Thing, this track constitutes the first tangible sign of how inevitable the regrouping of these four musicians was.

Their four-way symbiosis is such the album sounds like a natural extension of its more tightly arranged predecessor. That said, "Hanuman is the one and only track that directly recalls that project, proof positive that when Medeski, Martin, Scofield & Wood decided to work together again, they refused to merely repeat themselves.

This Peter Tosh cover, "Legalize It, " is more significant for its musical logic than its thematic message—or is it?—and it serves as an eminently climactic yet understated album closer. Yet MSMW's interpretation of the Beatles' "Julia is even more noteworthy: Scofield leads Medeski, Martin and Wood through one of the most conventional arrangements those three players have ever recorded. This quiet rendition of John Lennon's ode to his mother glows with a soft beauty.

In contrast, the quartet teasr through "Miles Behind, brandishing jagged edges on every front. It's not only in line with John Scofield's trademark guitar style—fluid tone clothed in a staccato attack—but it also recalls the noisy ambience into which MMW delved during the years they recorded the Blue Note releases Uninvisible (2002) and The Dropper (2000). "Telegraph is likewise the hard stuff, the result of creating an album largely out of the four-way jams MSMW then sculpted into shape in under a week at Shacklyn, the trio's Brooklyn studio. In contrast to MMW's End of the World Party (Just in Case) (2004), Out Louder doesn't sound obviously "produced." Rather, it stands a blueprint for the live shows the foursome is bringing around the country this autumn.

Jazz purists may not accept MMW into the idiom, and Scofield has endured his share of elitist criticism over the course of his career. But if this new combined effort represents anything, it is the joyous spontaneity at the heart of jazz. MSMW draw on the music's history as respectfully as they drive it purposely to the future.

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


Track Listing: 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.

Personnel: John Medeski: piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Hammond B-3 organ, wurlitzer, mellotron, clavinet; John Scofield: guitar; Chris Wood: acoustic bass, electric bass; Billy Martin: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Indirecto Records | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Motion" CD/LP/Track Review Motion
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 11, 2016
Read "Live in 1967 Volume Two" CD/LP/Track Review Live in 1967 Volume Two
by Doug Collette
Published: May 28, 2016
Read "Dedication To Sylvia Rexach" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication To Sylvia Rexach
by James Nadal
Published: May 31, 2016
Read "King of the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review King of the Blues
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2016
Read "Slag" CD/LP/Track Review Slag
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!