|Trouble playing tunes?|
- MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD
University Of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Tuesday, April 08, 1997
Set 1: Start/Stop* > Open Improv > Hip Chops*, Disrobe*, Just Like I Pictured It*, Latin Shuffle* > Bass SoloSet 2: Fast Clicks* > Improv > Open Improv > Nocturne Improv*^ > Everyday People*, Bubblehouse
Encore: Crosstown Traffic* first known performance
^ an embryonic version of the COMBUSTICATION tune, Nocturne
– SET I (tracks 1-8) –
– SET II (tracks 9-17) –
– SHACK THOUGHTS –
One of *the* most significant shows in MMW’s history, this gig features the first known performances of a number of tunes that would end up on the COMBUSTICATION album: Start/Stop, Just Like I Pictured It, Latin Shuffle, and the cover of Sly Stone’s Everyday People, along with what I’ve termed an embryonic version of Nocturne — check that out! I only just realized that track is indeed an early take on Nocturne, and I find that so cool to hear. Also, there is the introduction of Roland Kirk’s Hip Chops to the MMW live show — a perfect fit — and two new MMW tunes that are mostly played only on this April ’97 tour, Disrobe and Fast Clicks, the former having a little more life than the latter, and even resurfacing again in 2010-2011. Fast Clicks never makes it to an album, but Disrobe is featured on the soundtrack for the film End of Violence, and both are key to MMW’s sound in the spring of ’97.
This gig marks a shift from the electric sound the band had developed over the FAITU > Shackman albums (an era they were still playing from just a month earlier on their Europe run, so something sparked quite a shift in their approach to tunes over that month), and it would be a year that eluded my MMW-ear for many years since tapes of ’97 didn’t circulate much — having only tapes from ’95-’96 when I saw the band in April ’98 for the first time, I was really thrown by what I heard, missing this ’97 bridge in their sound. VERY cool to listen to the way the tunes develop and how it pushes MMW.
You’ll love this gig, so take a listen …
And so we begin down the 1997 gig road. For me, I’ve been glad to have acquired what we do have of 1997 which seems to be a lowly circulated year. When I first listened to MMW in ’96 I had a number of tapes from 1995-1996 and then finally got to see the band in the Spring of 1998 for the first time — it was like seeing a different band in some respects. The key I’d been missing is having heard any 1997 material which to me seems like a huge transitional year for the band. They broke out a number of tunes in ’97 we never really saw much of not long afterwards (Disrobe, Fast Clicks) as well as the band having debuted many of the tunes that would end up on Combustication.
So enjoy these ’97 grooves folks and follow the evolution of, IMHO, the tightest improvisational group I’ve had the pleasure of hearing.
enjoy the grooves,