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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Medeski, Martin & Wood in Grand Rapids at the Intersection Nov. 18

20 years ago Whitesnake made it cool for macho tough guys to sing along with a hard rock ballad--in front of their girlfriends no less. 10 years later Medeski, Martin & Wood made it good for hippies to go hear a jazz band and really listen. As you know true music lovers appreciate most all types of music evenly, so this is a show for them. The long jamming (read The Dead) and improvisation of MMW is what many hippies flock to, an aspect that was lifted directly from American jazz. For those seeking, they can get the best of both worlds at a MMW show: songs that aren't performed the same way from night to night; tie dye; modern forward-looking sounds; cute patchouli sprinkled hippie chicks. All of that adds up to a solid live performance; glimpses of briliance which were seen as far back as spring 2001, which was the year MMW played the Kalamazoo State Theatre to a crowded throng of mostly college age people. During that particular show percussionist Billy Martin played flattened metal pieces as percussion in retrospect could have been tile. Keyboardist John Medeski has recorded with gospel pedal-steel star Robert Randolph in a band called The Word and more recently appeared on hard-core jazz saxophonist James Carter's 2009 CD Heaven on Earth. Double bassist Chris Wood gigs with his brother Oliver in a acoustic blues/folk format-which also defies tidy description-appropriately called The Wood Brothers. A jam band in the MI area now covers their song "Bubblehouse" (Back Forty). www.sectionlive.com for more details.

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