Medeski Martin & Wood: Hermeto's Daydream
Medeski Martin & Wood
Notes from the Underground (Accurate AC-5010)
Composed by Medeski & Martin.
Recorded: New York, December 15-16, 1991
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
I have become quite used to MMW's organ-grinding jazz-based jam-band forays. They always manage to cut a groove as deep as the Mariana Trench. To get out of some of those grooves, you need to be brought up in a decompression chamber. Thumping acoustic bass, pounding drums and a distorted organ make up the group's calling card. But a little change is good for the soul. John Medeski plays acoustic piano on "Hermeto's Dream." This is immediately intriguing. The trio shows its ambient side first with bursts of textured sounds. Then the guys kick into a bit of driving jazz before they go the free jazz and dissonance route. Bassist Chris Wood keeps the groove going, but he is down in the mix and not the dominant force he almost always is with this band. Disconnected themes emerge. "Hermeto's Daydream" probably loses some of the band's more jam-band or casual listeners. What is this music? Medeski is playing some far-out shit. He sounds like Cecil Taylor on a bender! (You younger jam-band fans can go look up Cecil Taylor in jazz.com's Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians.) Medeski Martin & Wood's music is full of pulsing creativity, grooving power and occasional anarchy raised from a great depth.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky