|Trouble playing tunes?|
- MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD
Marquee Theatre, Tempe, AZ
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Set 1: Open Improv > Improv > Mami Gato > Bass Solo > Rise Up > Organ Solo > Lonely Avenue > Improv > Toy Dancing > Improv
Set 2: Seven Deadlies* > Improv > Improv > Improv > Improv > Bass Solo > EOTWP Improv+ > Hey-Hee-Hi-Ho > Drum Solo > Blue Pepper
Encore: Bass Solo > Queen Bee
* starting @7:49 the tune’s outro riffs on Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues Are (Thelonius Monk)
+ not really the song proper, but this improvisation is built around End Of The World Party
– SHACK THOUGHTS –
FRIDAY AFTERNOON IN THE UNIVERSE (FAITU#50)
Pure 2004 groovy goodness.
In a switch-up for MMW, the first set is more song oriented (with plenty of Improv too!), while the 2nd set sees the meat of the evening’s spontaneous composing.
First set begins with some Open space exploration that leads smoothly into a wonderful Improv, everyone jiving together and taking us ever so nicely into Mami Gato, a beautiful song which was fairly new at this time having debuted in fall ’03 and would be released in fall ’04 on the forthcoming END OF THE WORLD PARTY (JUST IN CASE) album, once again the band is tight and then moves towards an emerging Bass Solo that bridges over to Rise Up, which doesn’t last too, too long, but hits with it’s wacky groove before dissolving into an Organ Solo leading into Ray Charles’ Lonely Avenue, and down that Avenue we go before suddenly the band leads into another KILLER (if too short!) Improv which takes us to Toy Dancing (’04 was a GREAT year for this tune), and then closing the set with a final Improv that just drives home how INCREDIBLY FLUID the past hour of music has been. Set break.
2nd set finds the weirdly sinister feel of Seven Deadlies opening and getting the set going with intense energy — an energy that remains — and in the tune’s final moments we get a slight reference to Thelonious Monk’s fun quirky tune Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues Are, a nice nod to a piano player I think had a tremendous influence on John’s playing. When in doubt, listen to more Monk! The Deadlies doesn’t end but rather moves into the first of several distinct Improv sections, some really inventive spontaneous composing happening here showcasing various moods/rhythms/melodies until we once again land in a Bass Solo which leads to something seemingly familiar, but not quite, and so I’ve labelled it EOTWP Improv since the improvisation is built around the song End Of The World Party but isn’t quite the song proper, but that bumps right along into Hey-Hee-Hi-Ho, followed by a HOT Drum Solo from illyB, and a slamming Blue Pepper — gets a little wacky near the end — to close the night. Common for this time, the band Encores with a Bass Solo > Queen Bee, and I love that tune’s slinky groove and the way Chris’ solos lead into it … VERY soothing …
There are a few sound discrepancies, as the taper notes in the textfile, but nothing that should deter listening to this stunning example of MMW’s ’04 sound — this is one of many shows that offer similar adventure with altogether different grooves. I think hitting “play” on the start of the first set would be a VERY satisfying way to spend your Friday Afternoon In The Universe … maybe the 2nd set can occupy your evening …
enjoy the grooves,