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2019 Starts with a Jazz Blast! Part 2

Read "2019 Starts with a Jazz Blast! Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Last week we dived deep in some of the best new releases of 2019. Two hours were not enough so this week we continue our quest for fascinating new jazz out there... and we'll branch out a bit going into releases that came out at the end of 2018 as well. Many of the albums we're going to listen to are debut albums and quite a few of them are from abroad, especially from the prolific Italian scene. Check for ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

John Medeski: John Medeski's Mad Skillet

Read "John Medeski's Mad Skillet" reviewed by Doug Collette

Steeped in, but hardly a slave to, the milieu of the Crescent City, John Medeski (of Medeski, Martin & Wood fame) recorded in The Big Easy with sousaphonist Kirk Joseph and drummer Terence Higgins (both natives of New Orleans and members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band), along with guitarist Will Bernard, one of the unsung heroes of modern jazz. On the opening track titled “Man About Town," as with the like-minded closer book-ending the nine tracks, “The Heart of ...

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John Medeski: A Different Time

Read "A Different Time" reviewed by Doug Collette

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 ...

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John Medeski: A Different Time

Read "A Different Time" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

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 ...

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Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood: In Case The World Changes Its Mind

Read "In Case The World Changes Its Mind" reviewed by Doug Collette

In Case the World Changes Its Mind reaffirms the chemistry at the heart of the collaboration between nouveau-jazz trio Medeski Martin & Wood and guitarist extraordinaire, John Scofield. Hearing this live recording reveals the delicate, almost precarious, balance of factors that put them finely in tune with each other. Recorded on the 2006 tour to promote the foursome's studio outing Out Louder (Indirecto, 2006), the concert piece demonstrates how the four-man unit functions with judicious serendipity when playing ...

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

Read "Together Again: Live At The Egg" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

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 ...

PROFILES

John Medeski: Mad Science

Read "John Medeski: Mad Science" reviewed by Graham L. Flanagan

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.

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John Medeski / Mathew Shipp: Scotty Hard's Radical Reconstructive Surgery

Read "Scotty Hard's Radical Reconstructive Surgery" reviewed by Ian Patterson

One of the strengths of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey was the employment of silence. Yet if any piece of music could successfully accompany the image of Frank being “severed" from the space-pod by HAL, then the spacey, sinister intro of Scotty Hard's Radical Reconstructive Surgery could be it.

This is an album full of halucinatory noises and unearthly voices, swirling Moog and Wurlitzer atmospherics, and stabbing piano, all carried along on a deep funk beat. “Operation Chance sounds ...

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John Medeski / Matthew Shipp: Scotty Hard's Radical Reconstructive Surgery

Read "Scotty Hard's Radical Reconstructive Surgery" reviewed by Troy Collins

Celebrated hip-hop producer Scotty Hard realizes a longstanding ambition on Radical Reconstructive Surgery: the pairing of keyboardists John Medeski and Matthew Shipp. This album documents the first-ever recorded encounter of the two players, both former students of the New England Conservatory of Music. Half the pieces consist of written collaborations between Medeski, Shipp and Hard; the remainder of the tunes were written by Hard.

Medeski and Shipp are joined by stalwart bassist William Parker and rising drummer Nasheet ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

John Medeski: Note Bleu and Piano Jazz

Read "John Medeski: Note Bleu and Piano Jazz" reviewed by AAJ Staff

By Paul Christopher Dowd

Medeski Martin and Wood Note Bleu: The Best of the Blue Note Years 1998-2005 Blue Note 2006 Marian McPartland Piano Jazz with John Medeski Jazz Alliance-Concord 2006

For Medeski, Martin & Wood it has always been about the groove. And in the decade since their crossover appeal ...

INTERVIEWS

A Fireside Chat With John Medeski

Read "A Fireside Chat With John Medeski" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Medeski, Martin and Wood presents the possibilities of jazz to a generation familiar with the iPod, text messaging, and dubs. While traditionalists minimalize their musical merit, it remains difficult to ignore the trio's profound connection with contemporary culture. It is all the more consequential when considering MMW gained their recognition primarily through grassroots avenues, without the benefit of corporate publicity machines their counterparts were afforded. And as much as jazz music's old guard disregards MMW's jazz worth, John Medeski (unedited ...

INTERVIEWS

A Fireside Chat with John Medeski

Read "A Fireside Chat with John Medeski" reviewed by AAJ Staff

As a member of Medeski, Martin, and Wood, John Medeski sees the future of jazz on a nightly basis. The audiences at MMW's shows average at about 21 years of age and they dance to the groove that is being produced on stage. That makes Medeski an authority on the future of the music. Afterall, he is on the frontline. So here is the man of the hour, unedited and in his own words.

All About Jazz: Let's ...