(FAITU#24 & #25)


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The Shack Project celebrates MMW @25 years!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, being on the road out of town for the Fridays, so I’m making it up a bit this week, sharing shows #24 & #25 for FAITU’s 25th week, the theme of which will extend over several weeks throughout the summer.

Festival Int’l de Jazz de Montréal.

MMW in Montreal, for this Canadian fan was a sweet deal. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it the first few times, but did catch a couple of the Montreal “events”. Each time MMW played Montreal it was a little special, at least to my ears. Always more than you might find from the trio at other festivals – not to say other festivals haven’t featured some killer MMW, which often depends on time slots, but Montreal seemed to always offer a good slot which afforded the band the chance to really put on an “MMW show”, rather than a more typical festival set.

This week we’ll dig into the first Montreal Fest gig from 2000, and the following year’s return in 2001.

MMW c.2002/03

MMW c.2002/03

** Wednesday, July 05, 2000 **
Medeski Martin & Wood w/ Marc Ribot, George Garzone, Mino Cinelu & DJ Logic
– SET I –

We Are Rolling has to be one of the BEST opening tunes. Ever. Killer version that stretches out there a bit into that wacked reggae mid-section before wrapping around and drifting into the Latin love of Brigas Nunca Mais. Macha starts a run that leads the trio through to the end of the set, first finding comfort in twisting out ITAHTLMJ before the Latin beat pushes forth again with Latin Shuffle, featuring solos from illyB and Chris before an Open Improv leads to the set closer Swamp Road, which is a super groovy way to close the set, surprisingly played without Logic on stage, who comes out next set. Love when MMW give you a full trio set before settling in with some guests for an evening, and this hour of music – before the 2hr 2nd set – is more than satisfying on its own. But how great for there to be a 2nd set …

MMW c.2000

MMW c.2000

– SET II –

With a full stage of musicians, the set begins in some open exploration of HUGE LAYERED sound – everyone is looking for their pocket and gradually the sound breaks down a bit, thins out, as various musical conversations erupt across the stage, interjections interrupting ideas while others flow a little more smoothly. All the while, those on stage are working together towards something meaningful. This is beautiful to hear even if it is ugly and harsh to start. As we approach the 5min mark of the opening Improvisation a groove has settled and Garzone and Ribot have been zapping each other with Medeski playing along. This develops into a solid groove and track #2’s Improv is really like a natural outgrowth of the first Improv’s development – but also sounds DAMN familiar! Like a crossbreed of Note Bleu (played later in the set) & Smoke (debuts over a year later). Whatever it is, it once again has fantastic interplay between the three lead voices (Medeski, Garzone, & Ribot) while the rhythm section (Martin, Wood, & Cinelu) lays the bed for the play – and of course, nobody adheres strictly to these roles, but that’s a general breakdown. This slides nicely into Start/Stop which fits this group so well, moving through a cool Percussion/Logic breakdown into Dracula – which has this odd percussive “boom-boom” at the end of the usual bassline melody run, presumably initiated by Cinelu, and it adds a cool twist to Dracula’s usual sly groove, making it bumpier. A Percussion/Logic Improv gains some momentum for a couple of minutes before launching into the Sugar Craft groove, where the solo hat gets passed around to wonderful effect. The Sugar groove just keeps pushing out there landing in Hey Joe – now, it sounds to me like the guests have left the stage or are silent for this tune, but then you can hear them in the final outro chord crescendo which oddly just leads to silence. After a quick break Note Bleu kicks in – reminding us of that earlier improvisation – and the guests are throwing in full on this tune, extending it nicely to lead into the EVER welcome Africa. Africa once again allows the ensemble to breathe together and show off a bit for each other before driving us home with the Bubblehouse groove – complete madness with these 6 players on stage.

Moti Mo, with all these cats, is so full and rich – and when Garzone belts in with the melody on his tenor sax it all just feels so right … what a wonderful celebration Moti Mo is for ending an evening. I often think of it as a quieter number, but the build that rises over the performance, as the solo hat is passed around and group interplay weaves those moments, it really brings the energy way up – yeah, a celebration!


** Friday, June 29, 2001 **
Medeski Martin & Wood w/ John Scofield & DJ Logic

Exploring some open space that’s really just a loose intro to Bone Digger – once again letting the Montreal crowd know that the trio is not just laying down your typically groovy funked-out festival set – they are here to find new sounds with this festival audience, and that’s what they do. MMW keep Digging the Bones – man this tune is wacked! – and this dying groove slides into the more upbeat Big Time and lets the band welcome the crowd with a bit more friendly sounds, and begins a run of some more groovier numbers that should get the crowd dancing.

MMW 2001-06-24 @Toronto Jazz Festival, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

MMW 2001-06-24 @Toronto Jazz Festival, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Big Time, always a nice big groove itself, moves into its outro as some Coconut Boogaloo emerges, coloured by some nice Medeski piano work, sprinkled with a small illyB solo, some raunchy bass fuzz from Wood, and joined by Logic near the end of the tune before we head into the PHAT groove of Jelly Belly – it’s THICK! Some wonderful back and forth between Medeski and Logic on this tune before it busts into a Drum Solo … and interestingly, since he’s onstage, but Logic doesn’t join in with illyB … a few years previous, when Logic was a on tour more often with the trio he and Billy would regularly jam off one another when John and Chris dropped out.

The sweet bassline of ITAHTLMJ pops up next, some wonderful screeching from John’s keys on the main theme, Logic jumping into the fray, while Billy propels us along. A solid take on the tune with Logic bits for intrigue, but then the tune drifts into some short open space exploration that leads us into the crazy Felic groove – it’s a weird tune and I love it for that reason; not easy listening.

More wacky Open Improvisation follows Felic, and Scofield finally joins the fray in the aftermath, tinkering as his sound cuts right into the Open Space – he’s unmistakable, much to the chagrin of some, and to the joy of the rest of us. The overall sound thins out as Medeski, Sco and Logic trade some “licks”, illyB gets his talking drum in there, Chris plunks a little, and it all drops into The Dropper. For you Sco haters out there, just check out the imagination on this tune as he creates his own part throughout the song – this is NOT a tune Sco guests on, usually, but this is the 2nd – and last – time within a week, so he’s not oblivious to the song, but still! Very interesting to hear Sco’s input on The Dropper, vs. Ribot’s (plays on the album version and a couple of live performances).

MMW c.2001

MMW c.2001

Next up, another MMW live staple, Partido Alto has Logic and Scofield adding new textures, before we get to some Scofield tunes from the A Go Go album he made with MMW a few years prior. The title track, nice slinky groove, and Hottentot, a rocking groove, follow next with Sco taking charge a bit for those tunes. (An aside: I caught Sco at the Montreal Fest in ’98 after the release of A Go Go. He was the featured musician that year so he played like 5 nights with different ensembles, so we caught the A Go Go night with Bill Stewart, Larry Golding, and some terribly boring bass player (seriously, especially in comparison to Wood’s input on the album itself), but the overall music was incredible; then we caught Sco with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and finally got to stand and dance at the festival – upon request from the DDBB to get our butts shakin’!)

The guests remain onstage until the end of the show, but we’re back to some MMW live show tunes again, with first Note Bleu – another chance for comparing Sco’s input to Ribot’s album take – resulting in a hefty Bass Solo intro into the Hendrix tune, Third Stone From The Sun – again, Logic fits nicely in here, as usual, and cool to hear Sco’s take on the rock number. MMW’s take on the Hendrix tune is ALWAYS a treat!

The Hendrix theme continues into the encore, and so do the guests, with a PUMPING Crosstown Traffic to close out the evening.

And so begins our run through MMW’s history at the Festival Int’l de Jazz de Montréal.

As always, BIG THANKS to the tapers, and a special shout-out to Blane Harvey for all his work in getting Canadian shows taped and/or shared – as a fellow Canuck, I’m forever grateful, and I’m sure the other MMW Shackers are too! Not sure if you’re still out there, Blane, but next time MMW hit Montreal we gotta have a beer together!

More Montreal MMW Madness coming over the next few Friday Afternoons In The Universe

enjoy the grooves,

    w/ Marc Ribot, George Garzone, Mino Cinelu & DJ Logic

    Download MMW gig Read MMW txt file Festival Int’l de Jazz de Montréal,
    Métropolis, Montréal, QC
    Wednesday, July 05, 2000
    Set 1: We Are Rolling > Brigas Nunca Mais, Macha > Is There Anybody Here That Love My Jesus > Latin Shuffle > Bass Solo > Open Improv > Swamp Road

    Set 2: Improv > Improv > Start/Stop > Dracula, Percussion/Logic Improv > Sugar Craft > Hey Joe, Note Bleu > Africa > Bubblehouse

    Encore: Moti Mo

    Set II + Encore with Marc Ribot (guitar), George Garzone (sax), Mino Cinelu (percussion) & DJ Logic (turntables)

– SET 1 (tracks 1-9) –
– SET 2 (tracks 10-20) –

  • MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD w/ DJ Logic & John Scofield
    Download MMW gig Read MMW txt file Festival Int’l de Jazz de Montréal,
    Métropolis, Montréal, QC
    Friday, June 29, 2001
    One Set: Open Improv/Intro > Bone Digger > Big Time > Coconut Boogaloo# > Jelly Belly# > Drum Solo, Is There Anybody Here That Love My Jesus# > Outro Improv# > Felic# > Open Improv > The Dropper#*, Partido Alto#*, A Go Go#*, Hottentot#* > Guitar Outro, Note Bleu#* > Bass Solo > Third Stone From The Sun#*

    Encore: Crosstown Traffic#*

    One Set Only

    # with DJ Logic
    * with John Scofield

– ONE SET (tracks 1-16) –


Posted on July 8, 2016, in FAITU, Jazz, Live Music, Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on FAITU#24+#25.

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