Medeski Martin & Wood: Bubblehouse




Medeski Martin & Wood


Shack Man (Gramavision GCD 79514)

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John Medeski (organ), Billy Martin (drums, percussion), Chris Wood (bass, guitar).

Composed by Medeski Martin & Wood


Recorded: Hawaii, June 1996


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

"Bubblehouse" is built on a very simple blues riff progression. We know that Medeski Martin & Wood are not going to leave things alone. That is not their way. The band plays the riff faster and faster and faster. A strong backbeat enters and the riff's speed continues to increase exponentially. Then as if the sound were connected to a knob, the tempo is dialed back. It ain't easy to do that without some seams showing. A drum break introduces a nasty funk of bass, drums and distorted and spacey organ. Distortion can be a very useful musical tool in the right hands. How can you not move to this stuff? Impossible, I say. The group eschews the main riff for a bit. But it eventually returns in all its simple grandeur, and the band plays it out as the tune's coda. The best improvising musicians build, destroy and rebuild. Or, in this case, blow a bubble, burst it and blow another.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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