– SHACK THOUGHTS – 20 YEARS AGO TODAY
Oscillation is a nice easy groove to get ANY set going — wish they’d play that! This is a fairly standard version of the tune, but still lots of fun, moves into a cool Macha > Drum Outro > Last Chance To Dance Trance (Perhaps), followed by a butt-shakin’ Think, during which the show takes a turn towards even wackier sounds than the MMW-norm when Michael Ray and Tim Green come up on stage with their trumpet and sax, respectively, and proceed to lead us through some Cosmic sounds supported by the relentless rhythm section of MMW.
The horns on Think add a very unique element to the tune, with the players basically creating horn parts on the fly – wow.
Next up is The Satellites Are Spinning, and old tune from Ray’s days with Sun Ra. Ray handles the vocals as the rest of the players weave this wacky tune around him. check it out! And here’s a taste of Sun Ra’s version for those interested in checking out the source:
The popular-at-the-time combo of Jelly Belly > Is There Anybody Here That Love My Jesus hits us next, sans horns, with the guys seemingly having a change in energy from their time with the horns on stage … which carries us forward to the return of the horns.
The Lover begins and rocks out nicely, per usual, with the cool gritty ’96 approach, and then during the open space that comes out the end of that tune the horns come back on stage and everyone is then exploring that space as the band moves the music to the haunting sounds of Dracula — no ordinary vampire! This one is infected with Sun Ra’s spirit as Ray spews forth lyrics from Space Is The Place — you gotta hear this! The momentum doesn’t let up as that jams into some Crosstown Traffic — and what a JAM! They are pushing this well beyond Hendrix into the stratosphere!
A brief pause, with chatter about whether they’ve really played an encore already or not and then we’re treated to one last momentous groove: Chubb Sub w/the horns! Say no more …
enjoy the grooves,
MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD w/ Michael Ray & Tim Green
Tipitina’s, New Orleans, LA
Thursday, March 21, 1996
One Set: Oscillation > Macha > Drum outro > Last Chance To Dance Trance (Perhaps), Think#*, The Satellites Are Spinning#*, Jelly Belly > Is There Anybody Here That Love My Jesus, The Lover > Open Improv/Intro#* > Dracula#*+ > Crosstown Traffic#*, Chubb Sub#*# with Michael Ray (trumpet)
* with Tim Green (sax)
+ w/ Space Is The Place lyrics sung/spoken by Ray