Medeski Martin & Wood: Chubb Sub
Medeski Martin & Wood
Friday Afternoon in the Universe (Gramavision GCD 79503)
Recorded: New York, July 24-26, 1994
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Medeski Martin & Wood deserve a lot of credit for getting young people into jazz by tricking them into confusing it with jam-band music a la Phish. These guys constitute an atypical organ trio – there’s an upright bass and no guitar, largely because they started off as a piano trio. Also, John Medeski plays all sorts of keyboards, not just Hammond B-3. “Chubb Sub,” one of the trio’s earlier recordings, has Medeski mostly on the Hammond but also on the Wurlitzer for a few bars. A solid groove of a number that was used to great effect in the film Get Shorty, it demonstrates that B-3 practitioners do not have to invoke Jimmy Smith every time they sit down. For one thing, these guys interact equally throughout the tune, as opposed to taking turns soloing. Wood’s loose-string plucking and Martin’s thick-sounding drumming create a different sort of aesthetic, and Medeski’s from-the-soul playing owes as much to Booker T. & the MG’s as to Smith and his ilk.
Reviewer: Steve Greenlee