Medeski Martin & Wood: Dracula
Medeski Martin & Wood
Shack-man (Gramavision GCD 79514)
Composed by John Medeski, Billy Martin & Chris Wood.
Recorded: Hawaii, June 1996
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Medeski Martin & Wood is the quintessential jam band, known for its highly developed improvisational skills and for creating grooves deeper than the Grand Canyon's. Medeski's over-modulated organ dominates the music. But it is just one element of a complete sound experience. The opening bassline and death- march beat make it clear that "Dracula" is one tired Count. He is slowly making his way back to his coffin before the deadly sunrise. The groove is as dragged-out as any exhausted 400-year-old prince's would be. Along the way, you can hear the slowly opening iron gates creak as Vlad breathlessly leans against them, letting his almost dead bodyweight do all the work. His cape occasionally becomes entangled in the latch closing behind him. Sometimes you can hear it rip as he ploddingly makes his way to beddy-bye. He has only a few more 200-pound doors to open and torture devices to trip over before he catches his 40 winks. That still gives Medeski the time needed to play some haunting chord changes. At last, all that is needed is a lift of the lid. Its hinges need to be oiled. But that can wait a few hundred more years. The top battens down on yet another night of bloodletting and some serious jamming.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky