Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Medeski Martin & Wood, Billy Martin, Chris Wood|
Notes From the Underground
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Jazz, New Age, Pop, R&B, Rock
For folks who got turned onto Medeski Martin & Wood through the trio's later albums, MMW's 1992 debut will come as something of a shock. There's no trace of John Medeski's soulful organ workouts here--he sticks strictly to... more »
For folks who got turned onto Medeski Martin & Wood through the trio's later albums, MMW's 1992 debut will come as something of a shock. There's no trace of John Medeski's soulful organ workouts here--he sticks strictly to piano--and the record's disjointed rhythms and dissonant tonal shadings bring it closer to John Zorn territory or that of John Lurie and his Lounge Lizards (which makes sense, considering that Medeski and drummer Billy Martin had previously worked with Zorn and, in Martin's case, in Lurie's Lounge Lizards). But though the slinky grooves and oddball humor of records like It's a Jungle in Here are largely absent, Notes from the Underground still stands as an impressive debut from an immensely talented trio. --Dan Epstein
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Phat! Not the MMW most people know
entheon | Madison, WI USA | 03/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is real Jazz folks. This is not Duke Ellington, this is not Miles Davis. Those reviewers that gave this album a negative review because it's not "traditional" jazz were completely missing the beauty of this album. No this is not traditional jazz, it only resembles traditional jazz in that it's acoustic and they do a cover of "Caravan". Jazz is not traditional, jazz is about breaking the rules and going beyond traditional boundaries. MMW has this concept hardwired into their brains. They find a way to bring a gut wrenching chaotic beauty out of what only SEEMS like noise. This album indeed contains less of their "experiemental" or "random" noise but it still has it's fair share. The only reason I can see someone not liking this album is if they don't like or don't understand complex harmonies. Creed and Brittainy Spears are popular for a reason - they are EASY to listen to. MMW often is not easy to listen to, but if you want to hear some of the best musicians in the world (Medeski and Wood went to NEC and Martin to Julliard) give you a piece of their hearts and minds listen to this album.One of THE MOST beautiful songs of all time IMHO is La Garronne, track 3. I also believe MMW's best groove is on this album as well, that's United track 8. I would like to quickly qualify that I could never truly pick a favorite song or album of MMW or most any other band either, but I use these terms to illustrate just how insanely great I think these songs are. This of course is my humble opinion but as a Jazz pianist of many many years I hope that if you are interested in expanding your musical horizons that you will consider my opinion of value and buy this album. Yes, it is strange in some places, but all of MMW's albums have strangeness. If at first you don't dig it, put it away and listen to it again when you get bored of all your other albums. I have yet to get bored of this album."
Great acoustic work.
gabe t | United States | 05/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is not a single Medeski Martin and Wood release that I do not own, other than "Tonic", which I fully intend to purchase as soon as I possibly can. Having heard them through their many different 'modes', so to speak, and having seen them live in '99, I have to say I love this album. Like everyone else will have said, you gotta love the touch Medeski puts on the Hammond B-3 and the Fender Rhodes, but those of who also appreciate the more jazz-esque and less jazz-funk side of them, this is one album you'll need. The reason I opted not to give this album 5 stars is because it seems, at times, poorly balanced, but perhaps that is my own personal opinion. I listen to "La Garonne" about eight times for every time I listen to any of the other tracks once, just because it is so incredibly beautiful to listen to. "Querencia" leaves a little something to be desired, along with "Rebirth"; the sort of spacy, ethereal stuff doesn't always appeal to me (i.e. Farmer's Reserve, which is still quite a good album for those of us who really wish to hone in on Billy Martin's ability).Unless you're looking for only electrifunk stuff from MMW, like ShackMan and much of Jungle In Here, this is still a cd to grab."
This is just fan-damn-tastic
Jeremy Christensen | UT USA | 03/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since MMW don't seem to get any airplay, at least not in Utah, I picked up albums that were recomended by others. For some bizarre reason, none of my friends or aquaintences ever mentioned this fabulous piece of work to me. i have owned it for several months now, and even though it is impossible for me to choose a favorite MMW album, it seems that this is the one that i tend to listen to most. Granted, it doesn't have the fat organ hooks that grab you and refuse to let go, but that doesn't mean it isn't highly addictive. No funk? listen again my friends. Some of those bass lines are far from typical jazz. So there isn't a DJ. It certainly doesn't suffer noticably. This is a very strong showing from three damn fine musicians. bottom line: DON'T BE AFRAID OF JAZZ. It's the good stuff kids."