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

I had the to catch my first Medeski, Martin & Wood (MMW) show on August 12 featuring 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 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.

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 , others had lobster and wine. The crowd was almost as diverse as ’s set. The extremely talented organ trio played everything from straight-ahead jazz to to and everything in between. Nothing that did could have prepared me to hear MMW , however. I familiar MMW’s studio work and had a decently high expectation for their show, but I was simply blown away by the reality of it. Deep grooves permeated the cool night , 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 , good friends, a surreal venue and a will be had by all. Discovering this small, but amazing venue makes me wonder how many more are out there…well under our radars…


Ad Ops Nerd. Living that San Diego life. Chicago born and raised.