September 21, 2012

Medeski Martin & Wood: Free Magic

Avant jazz trio Medeski Martin & Wood like to turn it up, so it came as a bit of surprise when they embarked on acoustic tour in 2007. They will do it again in October and the new live album Free Magic is an indication about what might happen on stage.

Culled from performances in Princeton, Wilmington and Alexandria during the 2007 tour, the five tracks show the versatility of a band taking on the sonic limitations of an acoustic set-up. Drummer Billy Martin's sense for tonality is far more prominent - the radical revisit of the 1993 Where’s Sly? gives him plenty of room during the second half of the song. John Medeski is mostly on piano, sometimes a prepared one, and throws in melodica and mylotica to add textures. Dexterity takes over the sound effects of his usual wide array of organs and keyboards - check out Doppler for his smart use of a toy piano.

Bass and guitar player Chris Wood pays tribute to his lifelong fascination for Charles Minus and Sun Ra in the double whammy Nostalgia In Times Square/Angel Race. The cruncher is the title track Free Magic which segues seamlessly into the Chopin inspired Ballade In C Minor. Jazz meets classic Polish composing skills and they both benefit.

Medeski Martin & Wood are musical inventors who have been at it for 21 years now. They show no signs of slowing down and when the mood hits them, magic can happen on stage. For those who were not able to attend, Free Magic is a comforting snapshot of their travels.

Medeski Martin & Wood: Free Magic

Free Magic will be released on their own label Indirecto Records on September 25th.

  1. Doppler
  2. Blues For Another Day
  3. Free Magic/Ballade In C Minor
  4. Where’s Sly?
  5. Nostalgia In Times Square/Angel Race

The Brooklyn band hits the road in October for another acoustic tour.

Live dates:
  • 10/03 Fall River, MA @ Narrows Center for the Arts
  • 10/04 Glenside, PA @ Keswick Theatre
  • 10/05 Boston, MA @ Jordan Hall
  • 10/06 Albany, NY @ Massry Center for the Arts
  • 10/07 Bethel Woods, NY @ Bethel Woods
  • 10/08 Englewood, NJ @ Bergen PAC
  • 10/10 Ridgefield, CT @ Ridgefield Playhouse
  • 10/11 Stroudsburg, PA @ Sherman Theatre
  • 10/12 Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
  • 10/13 Washington, DC @ Kennedy Center
  • 10/14 Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head Tavern


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