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– SET I (tracks 1-5) –
– SET II (tracks 6-9) –
FRIDAY AFTERNOON IN THE UNIVERSE (FAITU#44 + #45+ #46 + #47 + #48)
– SHACK THOUGHTS –
MMW @the Bowery Ballroom, Jan 13-17, 1999. What can I say? LOTS! Read below – HA! But honestly, *listen*. Just do yourself a favour and soak up EVERY NIGHT OF THIS RUN. Then, *YOU* tell me which is the best of the run – huh? I can’t decide! I’ve listened to all these gigs, so many times … and just did again, a number of times over the past few weeks. Again, was blown away, heard some sounds I hadn’t noticed before or had forgotten about, and simply had a VERY rewarding time listening through these 5 nights. We get a taste of so much different MMW, and the guys have gotten nothing but stronger as a trio by ’99 so bringing in the guests finds them wielding their trio power underneath with perhaps a little more control than we hear, by comparison, in the edgy sounds of the ’96 SHACK PARTIES — not that one run is “better” than the other, just different. Listen to both! But for now, let’s dig into these ’99 MMW sounds, and the audible space they shared so joyously with their musical guests on this 5 night Bowery Ballroom run in mid-January ’99 …
** THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 1999 **
– Exploration of Open space by the trio gets the 2nd night going at the Bowery Ballroom run celebrating Blue Note’s 60th Anniversary, which moves into some great Improv from the trio, beginning this night in fine form and setting the vibe for what will be an experimental evening of music — arguably the best of the run, but honestly *EACH NIGHT* can make that case for different reasons.
– Note Bleu follows, making its 2nd appearance of both its life and the run, indicating the guys are digging this new groove, which opens into a short Drum Solo leading to an Improv featuring Jay Rodriguez on sax and he KILLS it! This Improv dissolves into a Bass’n’Drums jam, then Bass Solo, into yet another appearance by Brigas Nunca Mais — it too making its 2nd appearance of both its life and the run, having debuted the night before. The super groovy Psychedelic Sally closes the set with Logic joining the trio, allowing he and illyB to get down a bit mid-tune, with Charlie Hunter filling into the groove with his super sweet guitar sounds (if you like Charlie on this gig, be sure to check out his sit-in during MMW’s 2002 Montreal Jazz Fest performance.
– A Percussion Improv > Improv begins the 2nd set, a further exploration into the wild vibes of this night, and this is a weird borderline-Open-groove that explodes into a HEAVY Combustication Improv — SO GOOD! — and then Whatever Happened to Gus saunters in, accompanied by an UNKNOWN MELODY that appears in live versions of Gus … if anyone recognizes this, I’d love to know what it is! (The band does a similar treatment with live versions of Your Name Is Snake Anthony which they couple with the melody from Creole Love Call.)
– A Drum Solo follows Gus and serves as an intro to the Seven Deadlies (Bridge), a piece MMW seemed to debut over the course of the end of the fall ’98 tour, it was like it appeared in an improvisation on 11/19/98 and then later developed into what we labelled Seven Deadlies (Bridge), an incomplete composition that will eventually be more fleshed out to become the full tune we know as Seven Deadlies. Anyway, it’s at this point that Jay Rodriguez and Charlie Hunter return to the stage, and the two jump right into this wacked groove.
– Another Toy Dancing comes next, 2nd of the run (there will be 3 more), and again VERY cool to hear them twist this tune around and open up so much room to the guests. Super nice flute sounds from Rodriguez during this one and Hunter adds lots of little flavours throughout, so the trio and Logic dig in and rock this tune hard. The dancing then blurts out to just some Open exploration and tinkering before we feel the power from the Church of Logic — LOVE that tune, its groove, and this version is HOT with what the guests add … then things cool down nicely as we slide into the gospel-zone of Hey Joe, with this being the first known performance of the Hendrix cover … a nice finish to the evening, showcasing the guests, and setting a precedent for the closing of the next 3 nights … Hey Joe gospelized will be their final notes …
A legendary historic run by some of the greatest improvisers to hit the live stage. MMW were helping Blue Note celebrate its anniversary, but now we can use these recordings — THANK YOU TAPERS!!! — to celebrate MMW any time with 5 outstanding shows, 10 sets of music, splattered with musical guests who all seem to be of like mind … yeah, a good way to start your Friday Afternoon In The Universe …
enjoy the grooves,