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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

MSMW In Case The World Changes Its Mind

In Case The World Changes Its Mind
Indirecto Records

An inspired blend of acid jazz, funk, and a healthy dollop of wry self-depricating humour has made Medeski, Martin and Wood a powerful unit able to exist in jazz as well as rock circles with a surprising degree of success over the years. Their team-up with veteran jazz-rock guitarist John Scofield nicely broadens out their groovy circulations.

Medeski’s crusty and overdriven analogue keyboards, and his love of quick-turn organ runs dominate his soloing across these two live discs. A good showman, dense thickets of percussive attacks on the Hammond frequently whips up an already enthusiastic crowd. Scofield’s harmonically acerbic jabs and scratchy slalom-style runs across the fretboard create a strange, hybrid blues, taking an intriguing, circuitous route to make its point as well as providing a welcome tension.

While this chemistry works well for both parties, an element of MMW’s methodology has always been an insouciantly hip, laidback vibe. Yet after a while, it becomes a bit of comfortable cruise and one longs for them to slip off leash. When they do, on Miles Behind - a furious fusion-driven hat-tip towards Scofield’s former employer Miles Davis -the results are exhilarating, provocative and brilliant.

This review first appeared in Classic Rock Presents Prog

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