|Trouble playing tunes?|
– SET 1 (tracks 1-9) –
– SET 2 (tracks 10-20) –
– SHACK THOUGHTS — The Shack Project celebrates MMW @25 years!
FRIDAY AFTERNOON IN THE UNIVERSE (FAITU#24)
It’s been a busy couple of weeks, being on the road out of town for the Fridays, so I’m making it up a bit this week, sharing shows #24 & #25 for FAITU’s 25th week, the theme of which will extend over several weeks throughout the summer.
Festival Int’l de Jazz de Montréal.
MMW in Montreal, for this Canadian fan was a sweet deal. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it the first few times, but did catch a couple of the Montreal “events”. Each time MMW played Montreal it was a little special, at least to my ears. Always more than you might find from the trio at other festivals – not to say other festivals haven’t featured some killer MMW, which often depends on time slots, but Montreal seemed to always offer a good slot which afforded the band the chance to really put on an “MMW show”, rather than a more typical festival set.
This week we’ll dig into the first Montreal Fest gig from 2000, and the following year’s return in 2001.
** Wednesday, July 05, 2000 **
Medeski Martin & Wood w/ Marc Ribot, George Garzone, Mino Cinelu & DJ Logic
– SET I –
We Are Rolling has to be one of the BEST opening tunes. Ever. Killer version that stretches out there a bit into that wacked reggae mid-section before wrapping around and drifting into the Latin love of Brigas Nunca Mais. Macha starts a run that leads the trio through to the end of the set, first finding comfort in twisting out ITAHTLMJ before the Latin beat pushes forth again with Latin Shuffle, featuring solos from illyB and Chris before an Open Improv leads to the set closer Swamp Road, which is a super groovy way to close the set, surprisingly played without Logic on stage, who comes out next set. Love when MMW give you a full trio set before settling in with some guests for an evening, and this hour of music – before the 2hr 2nd set – is more than satisfying on its own. But how great for there to be a 2nd set …
– SET II –
With a full stage of musicians, the set begins in some open exploration of HUGE LAYERED sound – everyone is looking for their pocket and gradually the sound breaks down a bit, thins out, as various musical conversations erupt across the stage, interjections interrupting ideas while others flow a little more smoothly. All the while, those on stage are working together towards something meaningful. This is beautiful to hear even if it is ugly and harsh to start. As we approach the 5min mark of the opening Improvisation a groove has settled and Garzone and Ribot have been zapping each other with Medeski playing along. This develops into a solid groove and track #2’s Improv is really like a natural outgrowth of the first Improv’s development – but also sounds DAMN familiar! Like a crossbreed of Note Bleu (played later in the set) & Smoke (debuts over a year later). Whatever it is, it once again has fantastic interplay between the three lead voices (Medeski, Garzone, & Ribot) while the rhythm section (Martin, Wood, & Cinelu) lays the bed for the play – and of course, nobody adheres strictly to these roles, but that’s a general breakdown. This slides nicely into Start/Stop which fits this group so well, moving through a cool Percussion/Logic breakdown into Dracula – which has this odd percussive “boom-boom” at the end of the usual bassline melody run, presumably initiated by Cinelu, and it adds a cool twist to Dracula’s usual sly groove, making it bumpier. A Percussion/Logic Improv gains some momentum for a couple of minutes before launching into the Sugar Craft groove, where the solo hat gets passed around to wonderful effect. The Sugar groove just keeps pushing out there landing in Hey Joe – now, it sounds to me like the guests have left the stage or are silent for this tune, but then you can hear them in the final outro chord crescendo which oddly just leads to silence. After a quick break Note Bleu kicks in – reminding us of that earlier improvisation – and the guests are throwing in full on this tune, extending it nicely to lead into the EVER welcome Africa. Africa once again allows the ensemble to breathe together and show off a bit for each other before driving us home with the Bubblehouse groove – complete madness with these 6 players on stage.
Moti Mo, with all these cats, is so full and rich – and when Garzone belts in with the melody on his tenor sax it all just feels so right … what a wonderful celebration Moti Mo is for ending an evening. I often think of it as a quieter number, but the build that rises over the performance, as the solo hat is passed around and group interplay weaves those moments, it really brings the energy way up – yeah, a celebration!
** Friday, June 29, 2001 ** >>> 2001-06-29
And so begins our run through MMW’s history at the Festival Int’l de Jazz de Montréal.
As always, BIG THANKS to the tapers, and a special shout-out to Blane Harvey for all his work in getting Canadian shows taped and/or shared – as a fellow Canuck, I’m forever grateful, and I’m sure the other MMW Shackers are too! Not sure if you’re still out there, Blane, but next time MMW hit Montreal we gotta have a beer together!
More Montreal MMW Madness coming over the next few Friday Afternoons In The Universe …
enjoy the grooves,