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– SET I (tracks 1-8) –
– SET II (tracks 9-18) –
– SHACK THOUGHTS – 20 YEARS AGO TODAY
Ahhh … 1996 MMW! Hot stuff! And here we begin our “20 years ago” journey with the first MMW gig of ’96, March 10th at The Knitting Factory in NYC — and with Marc Ribot sitting in during the 2nd set taboot!
Billy lets everyone know how happy they are to be playing again (would love to hear that same sentiment at the start of a 2016 tour!!!), and then they’re off and running. First set is nice mix of newer Shack-man era tunes (album being released later in ’96), and a few other choice MMW tunes from that era with Macha, Lonely Avenue, The Lover and Xtown in there for good measure. 2nd set follows suit with a focus on Shack-man tunes and a couple of nuggets in there with LCTDT(P) and the closing Chinoiserie, speaking of which …
Before they play that last tune, Billy welcomes Ribot back to the stage and says they’re gonna play Chinoiserie, a tune from Duke Ellington’s Afro-Eurasian Eclipse suite — Billy strongly urges you to check this out, and so do I! It’s an INCREDIBLE listen — take 40min, and check this out:
… the voice at the top is Duke and doesn’t last long … you can decide for yourself if he’s being tongue-in-cheek with his agreement with Marshall McLuhan, regardless … man, I really dig that album. (Notice Acht O’Clock Rock is also in that suite, another Ellington tune MMW play; the Afrique tune in the suite is NOT the tune MMW play — MMW’s cover is a composition written by Lee Morgan when he was part of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the early 60s.) MMW’s take on Chinoiserie has a little more bend to the melody, which makes it a little looser — the trio setting allows for more of that, I think. Even with the 4th player on guitar, and …
Just listen to Ribot on Chinoiserie — his additions are NOT part of the song but he’s right in there from the start with explosive interplay. Like, the first time around that vamped organ head (da-dat-dat-dat-dat-daa-daa) Ribot is like a split second behind the beat as he’s carving out his part in that vamp, then they run it again and he is ALL OVER IT, and it only gets better from there. @4:24 he explodes with a full out solo — OH YEAH! I love listening to Ribot’s parts in just about any setting, and watching him almost makes you think the same thing: Is he even listening or paying attention to the whole? But then as you let your ear step back to take in the full sound it becomes clear that his contributions are spectacular, to say the least! I don’t know how he does it … and he does it throughout the 2nd set of this gig and again on the Chubb Sub encore. Well worth your time to listen — if there ever was a true 4th member of the MMW sound (MSMW is NOT MMW), then Ribot wins that seat for me …
And as Ribot concludes at the end of the Encore:
“Medeski Martin & Wood RULE!” — thanks Marc! Couldn’t have said it better myself!
enjoy the grooves,