Last night I saw a great concert. My buddy Micah and I went to see Medeski, Martin & Wood play on the outdoor stage at Stubb’s BBQ. It was cool to get to see them with Micah, becuase he’s the one that first intoduced me to MMW a couple of years ago.
They were phenominal! They played two sets, the first was about an hour, and the second was an hour and a half. I enjoyed the entire show, but Chris Wood (bass) and Billy Martin (drums) just blew my mind.
Billy is incredible becuase he is always switching up the beat that he plays. It always fits the song, and its always interesting, but its also always changing; fills, syncopation, different percussive instruments, and each transition is smooth. Its just amazing.
And Chris is freakin awesome too because he plays the coolest bass parts when he isn’t the focus of the music, and when he IS the focus of the music WHAM! he goes crazy with his hand all over the fretboard, and then slips back into the rhythm of the song and lets someone else take center stage. He switched back and forth between a Fender electric bass and an upright bass several times, so it was also cool to hear the difference that made on the music.
I also enjoyed Medeski’s work on keys, but it was the drums & bass that really drew my attention.
It really is funny to me that I like MMW because there is no guitar (guitar is by far my favorite instrument) and jazz is not my first choice of music, either. But while they’re classified as jazz, they have a lot of funk influences as well, and each one of them really is the master of his instrument, and I don’t know of any other band that can match they’re collective skill at improvisation. At their concert you kind of have the sense that they don’t know what exactly they’re going to play, and so the concert is as much fun for them as for the audience because they’re making it up as they go.
I can’t say enough about it, that show was awesome. If you ever have the chance to see them, don’t pass it up. You should be able to find reviews from others soon on www.mmwsetlists.com soon.