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REVIEW: Medeski Martin & Wood @ McDonald (Eugene, OR – 2/25/10)

26th Feb 10 (Fri) 6 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

This was my fourth time seeing the great trio of Medeski Martin & Wood… and the second time as an “evening with,” which tends to work out nicely for a weekday concert.  No painful opener to sit through, and less likely a late show time.

We got to the venue only a few minutes before they went on.  They came out around 8:20 and started off with one or two from Zaebos, their album from John Zorn‘s Masada Book Two: Book of Angels series.  From there, they hopped right into a Medeski-keys-oriented tune and a more exotica piece.  Overall, their show last night was definitely more of the MMW groove show, versus a improvisational MMW “messin’ around” kind of show.  Sure, at one point illyB pulled out the ducks calls while Chris and John noodled around, but then they ripped right back into the more lyrical pieces.

McDonald had the floor set up with chairs for the evening, which was a shock for me.  The crowd started out in chairs, but by the third song, they were moving up the aisles and dancing.  When MMW came back out for the second set, it was pretty much a dance party… well, a dance party with a bunch of pesky chairs in the way.

I’ll post the setlist when/if I find it… again, I recognized a couple Zaebos tunes, plus I’m pretty sure they played “Amber Gris,” “Padrecito,” “Amish Pinxtos,” “Reliquary,” “Free Go Lily,” and a few more Radiolarians tracks.  Don’t quote me on all of those songs, but it was definitely a Radiolarians-heavy show.

Setlist: (thanks, nastyshadows!)

  • Set 1: Agmatia
  • Pappy Check
  • Broken Mirror >
  • Disrobe >
  • Open Improv >
  • Padrecito
  • Amber Gris
  • Set 2: Free Go Lily
  • Jean’s Scene
  • Reliquary
  • New Planet
  • Cloud Wars
  • Encore: Bass Solo >
  • Chubb Sub

Two hour-long sets plus encore (which started out with a nice Chris Wood bass solo).  Excellent show.  Medeski Martin & Wood do not disappoint.

more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

~Dan – np: Dave Holland Quintet Critical Mass

MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Higher Resolution (9 pics)

Limited to 1200 pixels wide or tall (21 pics)

February 2010 Tour Dates

  • 17 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
  • 18 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre
  • 19 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
  • 20 – Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theatre
  • 21 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
  • 23 – Petaluma, CA – The Mystic Theatre
  • 24 – Crystal Bay, NV – Crystal Bay Club Crown Room
  • 25 – Eugene, OR – McDonald Theatre
  • 26 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
  • 27 – Seattle, WA – Showbox at The Market

REVIEW: Medeski Martin & Wood @ McDonald Theatre (Eugene, OR – – 11/15/08)

16th Nov 08 (Sun) 2 comments

FYI… my PHOTOS of the SHOW are at the BOTTOM

Keys player John Medeski, drummer Billy Martin, and bassist Chris Wood make up one of my favorite groove and experimental jazz trios on the scene today.  I’ve seen them twice prior (once only casually, once as a hardcore fan), and this third time was again in the clearly hardcore fan category.

This tour from Seattle to Reno is the last of three short jaunts in 2008 that are all part of their Radiolarian experiment.  This special series – named after a type of single-celled organisms with remarkable exoskeletons – sees the trio getting together for five days to hammer out new material. Then they go on a brief tour to practice the pieces live, after which they cut a record of the new material. Instead of the standard industry practice of write -> record -> tour, MMW will write -> tour -> record.

The opener was no one.  This was an “Evening With MMW” type of thing.  Which, IMO, just rocked.  It’s not to say that an opener might not have been enjoyable, but sometimes you just want to dig into to the real deal.

Medeski Martin & Wood were on top of their game.  The hit the stage around 8:20pm and played a 1st set that was about 60/40 on the experimental vs. groove jazz.  Their experimentation seemed a little bit more cohesive than, say, their Live at Tonic from a few years back.  I dug it a lot, but some of the crowd was definitely itching for their more danceable, groove-oriented jazz.  They ended this first set around 9:30pm and took a break…

(click for larger)

I toyed with the idea of leaving… I mean, I just saw 70 minutes of fantastic MMW.  I’m glad I stayed, though.  They hit the stage again around 10:00pm and played another solid hour plus of 120% groove.  Great vibe, great fun… at one point all three were playing percussion of some sort.  They also had a more rock tune in the bunch.  Near the end of their 2nd set, I went to the “lounge” area to see what it was all about.  I grabbed a beer and partially watched the encore via the TVs in the lounge (a weird but convenient trend in concert going these days).  Near the end of the encore, I had to see it from the floor.  Fantastic show all around!!

MMW’s setlist for tonight?  Ha!  I could only tell you that it was a smokin’ 2++ hour show… but song names and jazz music are usually hard to recollect.  If I get wind of a set list via the MMWSetlist site, I’ll post it here.  It may very well have been all Radiolarians Part 3 outside of the encore (which had been “Crosstown Traffic” at recent shows).

Their newest album, Radiolarians 1, is out now and is fantastic.  As is their John Zorn / Masada Book Two album, ZaebosRadiolarians 2 & 3 are expected out early 2009, I imagine.  I’m glad to be part of the Radiolarians 3 performance this swing through Eugene.  They’re going in to record Radiolarians 3 over Thanksgiving (or so said the merch lady).

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show… tomorrow (Monday the 17th) is Jason Schimmel’s Orange Tulip Conspiracy at Samurai Duck in Eugene.  OTC is a great eclectic instrumental band (similar to Jason’s other band Estradasphere but without the “metal” aspect).  I wish it weren’t late on a Monday at a dive bar, but it promises to be a VERY good show nonetheless.

~Dan – np: John ZornFilm Works XXI: Belle de Nature / The New Rijksmuseum

MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD CONCERT PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2008 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution





recent spins

30th Sep 08 (Tue) 2 comments

9 recent releases in random order…

Medeski Martin & WoodZaebos :: MMW had a song on 2003’s Unknown Masada compilation.  That compilation is what I see to be the basis for the whole Masada Book Two set-up (other bands playing Zorn’s new Masada tunes).  MMW don’t disappoint on the full-album workings of Masada tunes.  While I think I like Secret Chiefs 3’s Xaphan and the Bar Kokhba Sextet’s Lucifer better from this year’s Masada Book Two crop, Zaebos does rocketh much.  MMW also has something like 3 more CDs coming out this year… the 1st one due out today (Radiolarians 1) – – and I hope to pick it up at their Eugene gig in mid-November.  I am curious about the sales numbers for Zaebos, as I think this is one of Tzadik’s more “mainstream artist” releases (very relatively speaking).

Ani DiFrancoRed Letter Year :: Glow in the dark moon on the front… nice.  I also dig the chunky guitars in “Alla This,” a fav of mine from her concerts the past two years or so (recent review HERE).  More band oriented, as well as a return to some horns on a few songs… a good move for Ani, IMO.  I’ve only made it through the CD twice so far, but it doesn’t seem to have any filler.  It’s good to hear the formerly only live tunes done up right in the studio.  For a more in-depth review, check out my friend ZSS’s 8th Notes blog HERE.

SF Jazz CollectiveLive 2008 :: SF Jazz Collective 2008 features Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, new MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón, and many other great modern jazz talents.  The 2008 SF Jazz Collective features original compositions and compositions by Wayne Shorter.  Originally planned as a 2-CD set to come out in July, it ended up being a 3-CD set getting bumped back to late Sept/early Oct.  It was worth the wait… this is 3 hours of solid new jazz music and solid arrangements of Wayne Shorter’s classics.  Favorites from each CD: “Aurora Borealis,” “Secrets of the Code,” and “Aung San Suu Kyi.”

Mitch HedbergDo You Believe in Gosh? :: A good remembrance of one of the funniest guys who used to like to stay at the hotel with the two trees.  It’s only around 40 minutes, but it doesn’t contain many misses or duplicates from his prior offerings.  Short, but sweet.

Hotel LightsFirecracker People :: Darren Jesse (former drummer of Ben Folds Five) wrote one of the best songs on BFF’s final record (“Magic” from The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner).  In Hotel Lights, he takes up the guitar, piano, and songwriting torch and delivers from indie pop brilliance.  Much mellower than BFF material, but in line with the aforementioned “Magic.”  This is the Hotel Lights 3rd release… they’re on the indie Bar-None Records.  Support indie music.

George CarlinIt’s Bad For Ya :: While he is missed, his legacy lives on.  Brutally honest, or funny, or both.  He pulls no punches, even at 70 years young.

The Tiptons Sax QuartetLaws of Motion :: Yay, the Tiptons are coming back to Eugene in December.  I got into them late last year, right after they played here.  Four sax players, drums, and some great jazz meets world songs.  They are based in Seattle… and I think Amy Denio has ties to the Monktail Creative Music Concern and/or Eyvind Kang.  Anyway, the Tiptons are in good company.  Their Tsunami CD from 2007 made a late entry into my instrumental favs of the year.  Laws of Motion has a great shot for this year as well.  Indie music alert… support indie music.  Check ’em out on CD Baby.

Ben FoldsWay To Normal :: While I wish I could have made it to the Ben Folds Five “Reinhold Messner” reunion show (sponsored by MySpace), I wish Ben Folds Five would just reunite for good.  Alas, I suppose two albums by BFF alums in a span on one month isn’t so bad either (see Hotel Lights above). :)  While this album is slightly not as solid as recent Ben Folds solo outings (or perhaps he’s just predictable for me nowadays), it’s still a good album.  Maybe the super special edition b-sides from the overpriced special boxset fill the album in better.  I wasn’t up for paying that kind of coin, though… I’m sure they’ll surface somewhere.

Yoshie Fruchter – Pitom :: One of the more “rock band” efforts in Tzadik’s “Radical Jewish Culture” series.  Along with Zakarya & Jon Madof’s Rashanim, this is a welcome addition to the fold.  Great guitars and great violin & viola as well.  Grounded in Jewish music, yet soaring riffs.  I’m looking forward to hearing more and more from this great band.

~Dan – np: Ani DifrancoRed Letter Year

Voodoo Doughnut

3rd Sep 08 (Wed) Leave a comment

On a lighter, fluffier note – – Voodoo Doughnut in downtown Portland (22 SW 3rd Ave) is rad… http://www.voodoodoughnut.com/

Mogwai show in 2 hours.  Nooch!

~Dan

***********************

News bulletin (posted up in here after the initial post, hence the lack of MMW subject line): Medeski Martin & Wood is touring the West in November:

MMW’s newest album Radiolarians 1 will be released on September 30th 2008. A limited number of signed copies are available for pre order through our Website

The final tour dates in the Radiolarian Series begin November 12th in Seattle Washington. Tickets are available for these shows starting today, Sept. 3rd 2008, Here

November 12 – Seattle, WA – Moore Theater
November 13 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
November 14 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater
November 15 – Eugene, OR – McDonald Theater
November 16 – Arcata, CA – Van Duzer Theater
November 18 – Petaluma, CA – McNears Mystic Theater
November 19 – Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theater
November 20 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
November 21 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theater
November 22 – Sparks, NV – Celebrity Showroom

 

GOS Tour -and- MMW+Z

17th Aug 08 (Sun) Leave a comment

Japanese world-metal band God of Shamisen are making a run through the West Coast. I’ll be at the Eugene gig, fo’sheezy.

Sun Sept 7 – Seattle WA – Kevin Kmetz solo traditional performance @ ENMA 2008 Aki Matsuri
Mon Sept 8 – Seattle WA @ the Funhouse (with Diminished Men)
Tues Sept 9 – Portland OR @ Dunes (with SHAT)
Wed Sept 10 – Medford OR @ Johnny B’s
Thurs Sept 11 – Eugene OR @ Samurai Duck *yay*
Sat Sept 13 – Oakland CA @ the Fishtank
Sun Sept 14 – Glendale CA @ The Scene (with Foxycock)
Tues Sept 16 – Fresno CA @ Audie’s Olympic (with Foxycock & Brian Kenney Fresno)
Wed Sept 17 – Santa Cruz CA @ Blue Lagoon
Thurs Sept 18 – Mountain View CA Free in-store performance @ Rasputins Records
Fri Sept 19 – San Francisco CA @ Bottom of the Hill
http://godofshamisen.com/
http://www.myspace.com/gos

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Three-degrees of separation (GOS’s Kevin Kmetz > Estradasphere > Secret Chiefs 3 > John Zorn), the Medeski Martin & Wood album of John Zorn’s Masada Book Two songs is now out on Tzadik Records. It’s called Zaebos (album cover & tracklist below). I haven’t had a chance to hear it yet (and probably won’t order it yet, as I’m moving in two weeks). But, I tell you what, once I’m moved, DMG‘s gettin’ a big order from me…

1. Zagzagel
2. Sefrial
3. Agmatia
4. Rifion
5. Chafriel
6. Ahaij
7. Asaliah
8. Vianuel
9. Jeduthun
10. Malach ha-Sopher
11. Tutrusa’i

Billy Martin: Drums
John Medeski: Keyboards
Chris Wood: Bass
all songs written by John Zorn
arranged by MMW

~Dan – np: Mike Patton’s Mondo CaneLive in Holland

Medeski Martin Wood & Zorn

4th Jun 08 (Wed) 6 comments

OYG!

According to Downtown Music Gallery‘s catalog search and this MTV entry, the next treatment for John Zorn‘s Masada Book Two: Book of Angels series is… MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD. Wow.

It’ll be #11 in the series on Tzadik Records, and it’s named after the angel/demon Zaebos.

My recent review of #10 in the series (Secret Chiefs 3’s Xaphan) is HERE. I’m equally stoked about this forthcoming MMW treatment… and quite frankly it totally caught me completely off guard (I think I knew about the SC3 one, like, 18 months ahead of time).

~Dan – np: Bar Kokhba SextetMasada Book Two: Lucifer

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