Medeski Martin & Wood: Retirement Song
Medeski Martin & Wood
Uninvisible (Blue Note 35870)
Danny Blume, Scotty Hard (guitars), Eddie Bobé (percussion), DJ P Love (turntables).
Composed by John Medeski, Billy Martin, Chris Wood.
Recorded: Brooklyn, NY, 1999
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Similar to no other tune in the MMW songbook, "Retirement Song" finds the trio radically extending the sonic possibilities of their music. Borrowing equally from hip-hop, minimalism, electronica, and Herbie Hancock's "Rockit," it is an effective experiment in layering, texture, color, and the interconnectivity of rhythm and melody. A piece like this could easily sound overproduced or synthetic, but "Retirement Song" pulsates with organic vibrancy. Melodically, the focus is on the trance-inducing, contrapuntal guitar lines which provide a static hook over which Medeski's echoing synths are eerily suspended. Wood's ostinato bass provides an anchor, freeing the rhythmic components – drums, percussion and turntables – to constantly shift their accents around the hypnotic pulse. Want to see into the future? Download this track.
Reviewer: Matt Leskovic