Medeski, Martin & Wood – Aug. 12 @ Long Island Jazz Festival

Guest blog by Rob Demeri — better known ’round here as the oft-contreversial commenter robotic…

I had the chance to catch my first Medeski, Martin & Wood (MMW) show on August 12 featuring Soulive as the opener. Let’s just say there are times when the heavens smile upon you and you realize things have worked out better than you could have possibly planned. The show was at the Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, Long Island. There was very little publicity for this event, so it was a surprise to me when a friend from out of town called me the day of the show inviting me to go. On the concert promoter’s website, fotapresents.org, they recommended that you pack a picnic and arrive early to enjoy the botanical gardens. So, I threw some loose beers in a cooler, grabbed a lawn chair and headed out the door.

Soulive opened at around 7:30 pm as I walked through gardens and saw families on the lawn feasting on their picnics; some had sandwiches and beer, others had lobster and wine. The crowd was almost as diverse as the band’s set. The extremely talented organ trio played everything from straight-ahead jazz to hip-hop to soul and everything in between. Nothing that Soulive did could have prepared me to hear MMW live, however. I am familiar with MMW’s studio work and had a decently high expectation for their live show, but I was simply blown away by the reality of it. Deep grooves permeated the cool night air, and if you weren’t dancing, it was because you were entranced by these powerful musicians doing what they do best.

If you couldn’t tell, this concert was a blast. Throw together some good music, good friends, a surreal venue and a great time will be had by all. Discovering this small, but amazing venue makes me wonder how many more are out there…well under our radars…

  • Adam

    I agree,fab show! I have been seeing MMW since the eary 90′s, so for years these guys have been blowing my mind. However, this show in particular was a true groove-athon. Billy MArtin started right in. He was on from the moment they hit the stage. Chris wood played with a deep fury at times, keeping John Medeski to the songs. Medeski was less deconstructive than I have seen him in recent months. All in attendace enjoyed themselves thouroughly, You could feel it afterwards. We knew this was a real treat.


  • Adam

    I agree,fab show! I have been seeing MMW since the eary 90′s, so for years these guys have been blowing my mind. However, this show in particular was a true groove-athon. Billy MArtin started right in. He was on from the moment they hit the stage. Chris wood played with a deep fury at times, keeping John Medeski to the songs. Medeski was less deconstructive than I have seen him in recent months. All in attendace enjoyed themselves thouroughly, You could feel it afterwards. We knew this was a real treat.