The rather plainly named Medeski Martin & Wood have almost single-handedly returned the spotlight to the more out-there fusion between bop jazz and on-the-one funky rock music. Wheezing and huffing behind a bank of old-sch... more »ool keyboards, Medeski Martin & Wood plow into their songs with abandon. The drums of Billy Martin push the band out and away rather than gathering them neat and tidy, while bassist Chris Wood delivers the rhythms that somehow manage to keep every musical tidbit strapped to the deck. For his part, keyboardist John Medeski slaps and whacks his keys with inspired malice, all the while leaning heavy on the volume pedal. With the addition of DJ Logic further warping this band's sound, Medeski Martin & Wood have reached escape velocity and are now orbiting the planet. They may never come back. --S. Duda« less
The rather plainly named Medeski Martin & Wood have almost single-handedly returned the spotlight to the more out-there fusion between bop jazz and on-the-one funky rock music. Wheezing and huffing behind a bank of old-school keyboards, Medeski Martin & Wood plow into their songs with abandon. The drums of Billy Martin push the band out and away rather than gathering them neat and tidy, while bassist Chris Wood delivers the rhythms that somehow manage to keep every musical tidbit strapped to the deck. For his part, keyboardist John Medeski slaps and whacks his keys with inspired malice, all the while leaning heavy on the volume pedal. With the addition of DJ Logic further warping this band's sound, Medeski Martin & Wood have reached escape velocity and are now orbiting the planet. They may never come back. --S. Duda
"Funky Stylists MMW are at it again. This time with the help of DJ Logic. Great beats and musical wonderment for your listening enjoyment. If you love MMW and don't have this CD go for it. The addition of a DJ only adds to the variation that this trio brings with every album."
A landmark recording in modern jazz
jokamachi | california | 09/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Few records can be called epochal, even fewer may be called genius, but this one manages the near impossible by living up to each designation masterfully. MM&W have acheived with jazz, blues, dub, gospel, and eastern musical forms what Miles Davis did with fusion forty years ago. Sure, some would say their current recordings are over-produced - perhaps even overblown - but this record was their Rubber Soul; that is, a recording that looked back as much as it did forward in MMW's recording career.
The music is brilliantly stated through a patient weaving of melody and thematic statement, but, paradoxically, there is also great attention given to silence as rarely seen in music today. One might toss out a reference to Jamal or Monk when categorizing such a recording, but the unique imprint of MMW's identity may be found on every track on Combustication, and each is forged through respect and the mutual empathy of the players involved.
I was first given a cassette copy of this cd in Japan in Spring/Summer of 2002. The Japanese version of this cd has an excellent 'hidden' 13th track, a psychedelic piece spanning over 14 minutes which is tacked on to the end of the cd. It wasn't until much later, however, that I realized this piece wasn't part of the original album; so much does it resemble the style of the other songs you'd think it was written for Combustication (and most likely was). Moreover, I came to discover its inclusion to this album in a most serrendipitous fashion.
The cassette I received had no labels and the sides were actually reversed. To my fortune, however, I found the reversal to be an excellent mix considering the brilliant end piece was now placed near the center of the sequence. If you have the japanese import, you might enjoy the mix I was presented with. Burn the sequence as follows: tracks 9-13, then 1-8. Of course, the sacriledge of resequencing this cd is a bit like trying to reprogram Sgt. Pepper, but trust me, the result is quite enjoyable.
It was a hot, humid summer in Kyoto when I 'discovered' this album, but it was one of the best summers of my life, and this cd served as the soundtrack. Without exaggeration, I must have listened to this tape every day for four months and NEVER got tired of it.
Yes yes yes
johnnyribcage | Mein Mo Mountain | 10/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a truly incredible Medeski Martin & Wood album. I love most all MMW that I've heard, but sometimes their explorations on albums such as Friday Afternoon and The Dropper, for example, have a tendency to move into extreamly loose ambience. While I love that type of thing, and really dig those albums, on this one, Combustication, they take things to a whole new level. The group is unbelievably focused - They were definatly in some kind of pocket when they made this one. Every song is tight and the group is listening to each other even better than usual. Medeski's organ is really on fire all the way through, the colors of his instrument really shining. And, not only are the songs great, the album, as all great albums do, flows perfectly, logically, and fantastically. There's a great spoken word piece, "Whatever Happened to Gus", that displayes the groups love of jazz, and there's even a nod to a classic Miles Davis track from On the Corner, "Black Satin" in "Hey-Hee-Hi-Ho" with perfect replica of that slightly off clapping. Wonderful. If you buy this, you'll dig it. "That's Right.""
Jazz Funk and Hip Hop all in one.
MidwestPlains | 10/07/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a musician and a hip hop fan I can say that combustication covers it ALL without losing the group's originality or going commerical. Jazz fans will like Wood's walking bass lines, the Latin bass flavor, and a solo that ends one the tracks. If you like East Cost style Hip Hop, you'll especially like track10, Church of Logic. Jazz "purists" should'nt be disturbed by the DJ scracting, like I said, the group isn't showing any signs of selling out to the mainstream. If you're debating buying this album, forget the critics, period. This is my first MMV album but it definitely wont be the last."
Medeski, Martin, & Wood always Experimenting
MidwestPlains | 10/18/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The new release "Combustication" by New York jazz trio Medeski, Martin, and Wood is a delicious treat. The album shows off the musical tastes each member has been dabbling with since their 1996 release, "Shack Man." From funk grooves, to ethereal trance, to spaced-out jam music, MMW is again experimenting, and if anything; they prove that jazz can be creative as well as popular. One of the best aspects of "Combustication" is the addition of DJ Logic on some of the 12 tracks. Logic fills the tiny space left in the songs with wierd scratches, and those neat video game sounds. MMW purists will dig "Sugarcraft" and "Start-Stop," while those interested in the group's newer sound will love "Church of Logic," and "Hypnotized." "Whatever happened to Gus" has an avante-garde feel, with spoken word by NY artist Steve Cannon. MMW is a contemporary group that is always experimenting, and always improvising. If you see them play live, you'll understand. "Combustication" deserves five stars."