Medeski Martin & Wood: Buster Rides Again


Buster Rides Again


Medeski Martin & Wood


Tonic (Blue Note 25271)

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John Medeski (piano), Chris Wood (bass), Billy Martin (drums).

Composed by Bud Powell


Recorded: live at Tonic in New York, March 1999


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Recorded at the downtown club bearing the same name, Tonic is MMW's return to their acoustic roots and a fine representation of the group as a pure jazz piano trio. Their cohesion as a unit shines in this live set and especially during "Buster Rides Again." At times, one of the trio members will lead, but no one is ever relegated to the role of follower. After Medeski and Wood trade phrases, Martin launches into one of his more elegant solos on record. His playing is rhythmically tricky and at the same time melodically smart as he remains fully conscious of pitch, timbre, tone and phrasing. Inspired by the tune's composer, bebop piano hero Bud Powell, Medeski mixes some boppish, octave-doubled lines in with his normal, aggressively rhythmic assault during his solo on the way out.

Reviewer: Matt Leskovic

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