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FAITU#43

FRIDAY AFTERNOON IN THE UNIVERSE
(FAITU#43)
1998-11-19

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  • MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD
    w/ Thundercloud Bros, DJ Logic, Clyde Stubblefield, & Marc Ribot

    Barrymore Theatre, Madison, WI
    Thursday, November 19, 1998


    One Set: Chanting/Improv Intro# > Church Of Logic > Start/Stop > Tubby > Sugar Craft, Latin Shuffle > Bass Solo, Drum Intro* > Toy Dancing Improv*, Just Like I Pictured It, Hey-Hee-Hi-Ho, Open Improv+ > Improv+^ > C-Jam Blues+ > Spy Kiss+ > Combustication+

    Encore: No Ke Ano Ahiahi+

    One Set Only

    w/ DJ Logic for most of show
    # w/ Johnny Thundercloud and his brothers
    * w/ Clyde Stubblefield on Billy’s set (Billy on cowbell, talking drum)
    + w/ Marc Ribot
    ^ w/ Seven Deadlies Bridge Bass line; first known performance of music related to this tune

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Medeski @North Sea Jazz Festival, Paulus Hall, Congresce, The Hague, Netherlands 1998-07-11

Source info:
1998-11-19.unknown.26805.t-flac16

– ONE SET (tracks 1-13) –


– SHACK THOUGHTS –
FRIDAY AFTERNOON IN THE UNIVERSE (FAITU#43)

One of my favourite ways to hear an MMW gig open is with the Chanting of the Thundercloud Bros., the blessing. This opening track finds the trio bubbling up underneath the chant after a few minutes, exploring an extended intro of sorts to Church Logic — this is one my favourite COMBUSTICATION tracks, and it’s real nice live. The bassline is infectious, and when the Thunderclouds leave the stage and that bass and drums kick it, it’s perfect. The end of this creeps into Start/Stop, yet another tune enjoying a lengthy opening (and that’s fine by me). S/S is AWESOME any time, and the “Stop” sections go out there nicely, having breathed more and more room into those moments over the past year or so, making the “Start” sections, oh, so much sweeter when they hit …

Wood @North Sea Jazz Festival, Paulus Hall, Congresce, The Hague, Netherlands 1998-07-11

Again, no stopping and the band moves smoothly into Tubby, which brightens the vibe a bit with the opening tunes leaning a little more to the darker side of the scale. A short Drums’n’Bass breakdown in the middle, Billy moves to his tambourine for a bit — damn he can play that thing! Tune wraps up with John and Logic jumping back in and into Sugar Craft, featuring DJ Logic a fair bit — they like to let him groove out on this number, leading the charge at times.

Next up is a beautiful take on Latin Shuffle, including the usual mid-tune Drum Solo, and moving into a Bass Solo out of the song’s ending … the band has loved this tune, seemingly, since its debut in spring ’97, and by this point in ’98 they can really dig deep on this one.

illyB @North Sea Jazz Festival, Paulus Hall, Congresce, The Hague, Netherlands 1998-07-11

Billy takes a moment to welcome out THE FUNKY DRUMMER, Clyde Stubblefield! Clyde filled in for illyB earlier in the fall of ’98 on the Scofield A GO GO tour that also featured Medeski & Wood — Billy’s wife had just had a baby, so he couldn’t do the tour. Anyhoo, Clyde comes out to sit at the kit, Billy moves to some percussion (cowbell, talking drum), and the Stubblefield beat kicks in on what I’ve called a Toy Dancing Improv. Toy Dancing was new in ’98, and some renditions move closer to the song as we know it while a couple performances, like this one, kind of bend the Toy around a bit so the Dancing feels a little different. Nice breakdown c.5min with illyB & Clyde, then John, Chris, and Logic jump back in on the tune’s head and it fires to its finish — GROOVY SHIT, FOLKS! Billy celebrates Clyde one more time, and then the legend leaves the stage …

JLIPI is up next calming the vibe in the room a bit with its slinky bassline, but this will erupt soon enough in the mid-section of the tune when Chris lays it all out in his solo — GEESH! Also some stellar piano work from John here …

Hey-Hee-Hi-Ho gets the blood pumping again — Billy is so tight on this tune! And Logic again has room to maneuver, with he and illyB having some mid-track fun.

Medeski @North Sea Jazz Festival, Paulus Hall, Congresce, The Hague, Netherlands 1998-07-11

And then our MMW-related guitar hero of old (and forever!), Mr. Marc Ribot is invited out. Things start slow and meanderingly through some Open space before settling into the first known performance of music related to the tune Seven Deadlies, using its bassline while the rest of the guys on stage improvise around that. Later in Nov ’98 the band will use the bassline played during that Improv as a more firm beginning to, yet still incomplete, portion of the song we eventually come to know as Seven Deadlies, but during the late ’98-early ’99 period the performances are labelled as Seven Deadlies (Bridge) since it’s just that section of the tune they play during that time, before the more full version comes out in spring ’99 … mind you, the “structure” of the song is always shifting a bit, but by spring ’99 we’ve settled into more of what we know as Seven Deadlies.

C-Jam Blues sneaks out the end of the Seven Deadlies (Bridge) Improv, and we get to hear some sweet wacky blues playing from Ribot — sounds nice!

Wood + Martin @North Sea Jazz Festival, Paulus Hall, Congresce, The Hague, Netherlands
1998-07-11

Spy Kiss busts out the end of that C-Jam Blues, building tension more and more, grooving hard, before exploding into the insanity of the “song”, Combustication! What a finish to the show! Everyone is just giving all they’ve got to this WALL OF SOUND and it’s, well, INSANE!

The No Ke Ano Ahiahi encore is perfect … Ribot’s guitar is always soooooo sweet during this tune, a perfect contrast to the HIGH ENERGY that closed the set, and should nicely take you into this Friday Afternoon In The Universe

enjoy the grooves,
dug


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FAITU#28

FRIDAY AFTERNOON IN THE UNIVERSE
(FAITU#28)
1996-09-23 – SHACK PARTY II
~ John Coltrane’s Birthday ~

MMW Listen to playlist
  • MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD
    w/ many guests

    Knitting Factory, New York, NY
    Monday, September 23, 1996


    Set 1: Improv#* > Open Improv* > Improv* > Improv+^ > Conga Solo+, Naima*+^, Bass Solo > Syeeda’s Song Flute > Spy Kiss > Improv% > Piano Solo > Improv%

    Set 2: Africa+^%$! > Percussion/Drums+! > Africa+^%$!, Improv$ > Drums’n’DJ [@9:06] > Chinoiserie@, Is There Anybody Here That Love My Jesus@&

    Shack Party II

    Guest musicians:
    # Johnny Thunder Cloud – vocals, chanting
    * Danny Blume – guitar
    + Eddie Bobe – congas
    ^ Hammadi – alto sax, percussion
    % Rob Scheps – tenor sax
    $ Marc Ribot – guitar
    ! G. Calvin Weston – drums
    @ Michael Blake – tenor sax
    & Sherri Jackson – vocals
    DJ Logic – turntables – all over this show… (Set I = all; Set II = all)

    ========================
    MORE DESCRIPTIVE DETAIL OF
    SET I’s IMPROVISATIONS:

    Jam – bass part similar to first song from 9/16/96 -> Jam – guitar groove -> Jam w/ piano -> 6/8 jam -> Fast 4/4 jam w/ sax -> Conga Solo, Naima, Bass Solo -> Syeeda’s Song Flute -> Spy Kiss -> Unknown – fast funk groove w/ a driving bridge -> Unknown – w/ piano and tenor sax -> Piano Solo -> Unknown slow tune
    ========================
    MORE DESCRIPTIVE DETAIL OF
    SET II’s IMPROVISATIONS:

    Jam in 6/8 w/ Conga. Solos, Jam – funky – organ, guitar, samples-> Samples and drums interlude-> Chinoiserie, Is There Anybody Here That Love My Jesus
    ========================

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1996-09-23 ticket stub

1996-09-23 ticket stub

Source info:
1996-09-23.gefell-m300.12.t-flac16 [TSP1996#13]

– SET I (tracks 1-12) –
– SET II (tracks 13-19) –


FRIDAY AFTERNOON IN THE UNIVERSE (FAITU#28)
The Shack Project celebrates MMW @25 years!

– SHACK THOUGHTS — SHACK PARTIES I-VII ’96 –
Listen to these gigs. Listen to all of these gigs — it’s the best advice I can give you. These Shack Parties, where the band played for 7 Mondays in a row at the Knitting Factory in NYC, encompass such a wide range of the band’s talents and musical interests that a summation would simply do the music an injustice. Whether you dig a certain track or guest through this run, you have to admit that each guest brings something unique to the mix which in turn causes the band to react and shift, making the music they all create something adventuresome and real for that moment only. There are also plenty of moments where it’s just the trio and you’ll love it. As they explore both groove and open space with/out guests, it is clear this is a band out to make inspired music.

Oren Bloedow’s speech during Set II of the last Shack Party puts it best … so take a listen and Shack-out with these near 20 year-old musical explorations …

1996-09-23 ticket stub

1996-09-23 ticket stub

– SHACK PARTY II THOUGHTS – JOHN COLTRANE’S BIRTHDAY

2nd of 7 weekly Shack Party gigs falls on the anniversary of John Coltrane’s birthday, so MMW (being obvious fans) sprinkle much of the evening with Coltrane music — three of the 6 actual songs played are Coltrane tunes (Naima, Syeeda’s Song Flute, & Africa), but songs aren’t really the focus. Coltrane’s music, like their own songs they play (Spy Kiss & ITAHTLMJ) along with one Ellington number (Chinoiserie), sends the band and their welcome guests out into the ether at times. The Africa that opens Set II, for example, is a MONSTER of space and groove with everyone contributing to the whole in true collaborative fashion — cool to hear Africa in here, but too bad the it took over a year for the song to return to MMW’s live shows, and then again too bad that it left again shortly after its return!). Outstanding group work here — this ain’t a case of 4+ guitar players on stage all strumming along together, this a mess of unique instrumentation all finding pockets to fill in the music — you have to hear this! Blume and Ribot offer contrasting styles in the guitar vein, but both have such invention and chemistry with MMW; Hammadi, Scheps and Blake provide sax at various moments, separately and together at times, with unique voices honouring Coltrane on this night. I could keep blabbing, but … just listen.

A nice treat at the end finds Sherri Jackson delivering some vocals on the MMW classic, their take on the old Spiritual, Is There Anybody Here That Love My Jesus … I’m still singing it now …

enjoy the grooves,
dug


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MMW Shack Selections

THE SHACK STREAM
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