1996-09-30 – SHACK PARTY III
FRIDAY AFTERNOON IN THE UNIVERSE (FAITU#29)
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 …
– SHACK PARTY III THOUGHTS –
illyB kicks down a beat to get the groove rolling, and the other musicians just start piling on, layering the sound, and a superb groove is born! Over the next 30min the group on stage, MMW + Logic, Bernstein, & Scheps, take us through 4 distinct improvisations before we hit some Open space that winds us down to just the trio with Logic on the Horace Silver tune/jazz standard, Cape Verdean Blues — nothing standard in MMW’s take on the tune though! The horns return after a Bass Solo from Chris, and stick out for another Improv > Organ’n’Trumpet jam that smoothly leads into Wiggly’s Way before the horns exit again. Bernstein is a perfect fit for MMW any time, and in this set he’s a monster on that slide trumpet — just KILLER! The set ends with Jennifer Jackson’s beautiful vocals accompanying the trio on an “Unknown Bassanova”.
And then there’s a 2nd set! It begins on a subdued note with Medeski solo on piano which opens up into a killer improvisation when the guests join in with Logic quite prominent and Oren (must be him on guitar) — I mean, Oren is nailing it here! Great stuff! We get a Drums’n’DJ breakdown at a few points (Weston eventually joins the percussive fray later in the set), some Open explorations, Bass’n’Drums, and incredible groove improvisations — where do all these melodies come from!?! Rufus Cappadocia on cello is an INCREDIBLE addition to this set of musicians and his input on the latter part of the set’s improvisations as well as on the tune Friday Afternoon In The Universe, makes this afternoon’s listen all the more special … the closing number is an Oren Bloedow tune that wraps up the set in a similarly subdued manner as Medeski’s solo started … some sweet sax from Aaron Heik on this number too …
Gotta say I just love how far out the FAITU tune gets in that 2nd set … and this quote makes me chuckle each time I hear Billy utter these words near the start of the show, “New record coming out in a couple of weeks, check it out. We’re *not* playing any of the music from that record tonight …” — HA!
enjoy the grooves,
- MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD (w/ guests)
Shack Party III
Knitting Factory, New York, NY
Monday, September 30, 1996
Set 1: Improv > Improv > Improv > Improv#* > Open Improv#*, Cape Verdean Blues, Bass Solo > Improv#* > Organ’n’Trumpet# > Wiggly’s Way#*, “Unknown Bossa Nova”+Set 2: Piano Solo > Improv^ > Drums’n’DJ, Improv#^ > Open Improv#^% > Improv#^%$ > Bass’n’Drums/DJ$@ > Drums’n’DJ$ > Improv$% > Friday Afternoon In The Universe$%, The Second Effort^!Shack Party III
DJ Logic – turntables (all ??)
# Steven Bernstein – slide trumpet
* Rob Scheps – tenor sax
+ Jennifer Jackson – vocals
^ Oren Bloedow – guitar, vocals [presumably Oren is the guitar heard throughout the start of Set II as well]
% Rufus Cappadocia – cello [did my best to identify the tracks – dug]
$ G. Calvin Weston – drums [did my best to identify the tracks – dug]
! Aaron Heik – alto sax
@ Medeski plunks in a few times on piano
– SET I (tracks 1-5) –
– SET II (tracks 6-12) –