Medeski Martin & Wood: Partido Alto
Medeski Martin & Wood
The Dropper (Blue Note 22841)
Marshall Allen (alto sax), Eddie Bobé (congas).
Composed by John Medeski, Billy Martin, Chris Wood.
Recorded: Brooklyn, NY 1999-2000
Rating: 83/100 (learn more)
Featuring production by hip-hop producer Scotty Hard, The Dropper doesn't have the slickness of Friday Afternoon in the Universe or the immediacy of Shack Man, but has a gritty rawness that makes it stand alone in the MMW discography, for better or worse. Martin's bass drum booms and Wood is mixed way out front, giving "Partido Alto" a thumping groove that may lead to widespread cases of the spontaneous booty shakes. Long a concert favorite, this jam-friendly tune has fostered many memorable guest appearances at MMW's live shows, including jam-scene guitar hero Trey Anastasio of Phish. Sun Ra altoist Marshall Allen makes his screechy, wailing presence felt briefly on this recording, albeit bizarrely transmogrified by Hard's production. Like many extended jams, however, "Partido Alto" is a tad unfocused, though the groove is fun enough that listeners shouldn't care as soon as they are up dancing by their stereos.
Reviewer: Matt Leskovic