My friend and designer extraordinaire John Zeratsky has been a Medeski, Martin & Wood fan for some years now. He’s fond of their acoustic side and a little less fond of their acid-jazz-house tendencies. He’s also fond of their collaborations with Mr. John Scofield, so thanks to Aaron w/ MMW, John got a pass into the show. Here are his thoughts…
The most exciting thing about the MSMW show at the Vic last weekend was hearing a couple of tunes from A Go Go live! That’s always been my favorite MMW album (even if it’s actually a Scofield album), and not surprisingly “Hottentot” literally sent shivers up my spine.
It was a great night of music. More collars and less pot than your typical MMW show, but I am in no position to complain about that. My cousin Liz and I got a good spot in the balcony, right next to the tapers, and generally stayed clear of an overzealous security guard with a flashlight.
(Speaking of tapers, check out the MP3s at the bottom of the post.)
The group sounded and looked very natural together. I really enjoyed hearing Scofield play in this setting. His album work is tremendous, but he’s never seemed all that natural with his Uberjam/Up All Night band or his trio. But things were definitely clicking — Sco and Medeski were melodically locked-in, and I think I even heard Sco play some rhythm parts :-)
On stage, it was a total gear fest. Medeski played a B3, Wurli, Rhodes and two other keyboards I couldn’t identify. Wood played four basses — one upright acoustic, three electric. And Martin… well, yeah, he had a lot of stuff too. Even Scofield swapped his AS-200 for a Telecaster on one tune.
My only complaint is that the encore was a bit weak. But after two and a half hours, I should be happy they came back for an encore at all.
All in all, a great show.