John Medeski of Medeski Martin & Wood has toured solo in the past, and more regularly in recent years, but this is the first time he’ll document it with an album — A Different Time is out April 9th on Okeh Records. Medeski has also announced a few select tour dates in support for Chicago, Milwaukee and New York. The album was recorded at Waterfront Studios, producer Henry Hirsch’s recording studio built within a 19th-century church in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley.

“I had a more eclectic record in mind,” Medeski says. “I wanted to put out something that would be more representative of what my live solo concerts are like.”

Michael Bloom says the album consists mostly of Medeski’s own compositions and improvisations, with a familiar spiritual and a Willie Nelson song added into the mix, the album presents a different side of Medeski’s prodigious artistry, one which he was initially reluctant to display. Bloom goes on to say producer Hirsch also encouraged Medeski to try the studio’s 1924 Gaveau – a French piano made in a pre-modern style, akin to Chopin’s preferred model, the Pleyel. The instrument, as it turned out, was a revelation and made a profound impact on the music that came to be A Different Time. Medeski has announced four solo tour dates in support of the album.

John Medeski Solo Piano Tour:

April 7 / Old Town School of Folk / Chicago, IL
April 8 / Shank Hall / Milwaukee, WI
April 10 / Le Poisson Rouge / New York, NY
April 12 / The Kleinert Center / Woodstock, NY

He’ll also be busy with Medeski Martin & Wood who have shows in April too:

MMW April 2013

April 6 / Walker Art Center / Minneapolis, MN
April 17 / Kirkland Performance Center / Kirkland, WA
April 18 / Roseland Theatre / Portland, OR
April 19 / Napa Valley Opera House / Napa, CA
April 20 / Jackson Hall / Davis, CA
April 21 / Knitting Factory / Reno, NV
April 22 – 23 / Great American Music Hall / San Francisco, CA
April 25 / Sunset Center / Carmel, CA
April 26 / Royce Hall – UCLA / Los Angeles, CA
April 27 / Belly Up / San Diego, CA