Medeski Martin & Wood: Nocturnal Transmission
Medeski Martin & Wood
Uninvisible (Blue Note 35870)
Composed by Billy Martin, John Medeski & Chris Wood.
Recorded: Brooklyn, NY, Bearsville, NY, and New York, NY, early 2002
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
The sound of this recording is immediately identifiable as Medeski Martin & Wood. Showcasing light, lilting jazz for the first few minutes and then transforming itself into "Shaft"-style music, the track fuses the trio's always-apparent electronic music fetish with brassy funk. This musical fusion is in full bloom here, with the second half of the tune containing some of the most tantalizing grooves that the players have achieved in the studio. Of course, MMW has done this before with the same results on most of their recordings, but a heavy Joe Zawinul vibe can be heard on the track, and "Nocturnal Transmission" adds a sexy R&B edge that recalls such early Weather Report recordings as "Eurydice" and "Umbrellas." The three compositions share a commitment to bass-heavy '70s soul stylings that bubble just under the surface, differentiated only by MMW's use of horns. While keyboardist John Medeski skates upon a blacktop of fun, lurching rhythms, he surpasses most of his own creations on this 6-minute delight. Listeners should allow this cut to lead them on a rich musical journey, because it functions as a great soundtrack for any occasion.
Reviewer: Marcus Singletary