Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.



Billy Martin (aka Illy B) On The Nature Of Art And The Art Of Nature

Read "Billy Martin (aka Illy B) On The Nature Of Art And The Art Of Nature" reviewed by Leo Sidran

Billy Martin (also known as Illy B) is many things. He's a visual artist, a filmmaker, a teacher, a builder, a composer, a record producer... But if you know his name, chances are it's from his band Medeski, Martin and Wood, a project he's had for 30 years now along with bassist Chris Wood and keyboardist John Medeski. Billy refers to his artistic approach as playful and he is committed to the idea of play and experimentation in ...


Album Review

Billy Martin's Wicked Knee: Heels Over Head

Read "Heels Over Head" reviewed by Doug Collette

After a long series of way under-the radar solo projects, drummer Billy Martin has chosen a more accessible route in the last couple of years, beginning with his duo collaboration with keyboardist Wil Blades, Shimmy (The Royal Potato Family, 2012).The followup to the eponymous seven-track EP, Heels Over Head is equally easy to digest, perhaps more so, even if the instrumental lineup of Wicked Knee is somewhat unconventional. Martin has enlisted longtime kindred spirit and master horn man ...


Album Review

Billy Martin's Wicked Knee: Heels Over Head

Read "Heels Over Head" reviewed by Mark Corroto

What if drummer Billy Martin of the late-20th, now 21st-century band Medeski Martin and Wood had been born at the end of the 19th century in New Orleans? What kind of music would he play? Certainly, it would have a brass band setting and be inflected with blues feel. Invite Buddy Bolden over tonight, because we have some funky ragtime sound with Martin's new outfit Wicked Knee. This their first full-length release, that follows the EP Wicked Knee (Amulet, 2011).


Film Review

Billy Martin: In Concert: Coconuts Feeding Birds

Read "Billy Martin: In Concert: Coconuts Feeding Birds" reviewed by Doug Collette

Billy Martin In Concert: Coconuts Feeding Birds Vongole Films 2009

In March 2008, drummer and percussionist Billy Martin was commissioned by The Houston Community College Department of Fine Arts in Texas to perform at the Heinen Theater. The school set the stage and documented what proved to be one of his best solo performances, in which the percussionist and founding member of Medeski Martin & Wood offered some of his Black Elk Speaks compositions ...


Film Review

In Concert: Coconuts Feeding Birds

Read "In Concert: Coconuts Feeding Birds" reviewed by Graham L. Flanagan

Billy Martin In Concert: Coconuts Feeding Birds Amulet 2009

Due to his tenure with mega-successful avant-garde jamband powerhouse Medeski, Martin & Wood, Billy Martin currently inhabits the most elite pantheon of contemporary percussionists.This popularity has made each member of that trio a star in his own right, and their solo work attracts similarly large and enthusiastic crowds wherever they perform. The new DVD In Concert: Coconuts Feeding Birds makes available ...


Album Review

Billy Martin / John Medeski: Mago

Read "Mago" reviewed by Sean Patrick Fitzell

In their nearly twenty year history, drummer Billy Martin and organist John Medeski have developed an acute affinity built on a shared rhythmic feel and devotion to improvisation. On Mago, they return to the duo format, the seed that blossomed into the successful trio Medeski, Martin & Wood (MMW). The eleven tracks crackle with vitality, as the musicians mine their seemingly infinite variety of grooves. The aggressive burner “Introducing Mago opens the CD, one of the bookend ...


Album Review

Billy Martin / John Medeski: Mago

Read "Mago" reviewed by Troy Collins

In 1989 organist John Medeski joined percussionist Billy Martin in his Brooklyn loft for a jam session that became the genesis for the groove institution known as MMW. Together with bassist Chris Wood, Medeski, Martin & Wood has become one of the most successful cross-over stories in all of modern jazz.

Medeski and Martin vowed to record as a duo one day, and Mago is the result. Stripped down to core essentials, Martin eschews additional percussion in favor ...


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