MSMW Live: In Case the World Changes Its Mind

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Medeski, Martin & Wood
This is a live collection from jazz guitarist John Scofield collaborating with John Medeski on organ and keyboards, Billy Martin on drums and Chris Wood on bass. The music was drawn from the source material of their previous collaborations John Scofield's A Go Go and MSMW's Out Louder. Their lengthy 2006 tour together provided the music for this album. The open the double-live album in fine fashion with the up-tempo groover “A Go-Go," featuring a strong guitar solo. Bubbling organ and funky rhythm made this a great crowd pleaser. “Deadzy" brings a more atmospheric focus to the proceedings. The song has a creepy haunted-house feel with spooky guitar shards punctuating rumbling bass and drums and smears of organ. “What Now" brings us back to a fast, overdriven organ groove with guitar accents, everybody storming hard. Steaming electric organ and wah guitar which develop into an excellent solo halfway through. The band comes through at full throttle making this a definitive highlight of the album. Bringing the funk is the main focus of “Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine Thing" with a Meters/New Orleans type rhythm, with the organ swirling happily over the parade groove. A section for thick bass and a drum solo are featured before the full band comes back together for a wickedly funky conclusion. The group references the blues quite nicely with “In Case The World Changes Its Mind" and “Little Walter Rides Again." Both develop excellent R&B grooves with Medeski getting a wide variety of sounds from his keyboard lineup, including one that sounds uncannily like an amplified harmonica. A final track of note is “Miles Behind" opening with a fine drum solo before segueing into a stomping live improvisation like something out of the Miles Davis On the Corner sessions. Wood provides a massive bass pivot like Michael Henderson did in the Davis band, and Scofield employs guitar effects to mimic the electrified trumpet of the fierce groove of Davis's electrical period. This was as well put together live collection that shows the band in a variety of settings from jazz fusion through blues and gospel. They are able to meld these diverse source materials into lengthy jam style improvisations, making for an enjoyable collection.

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This story appears courtesy of Music and More by Tim Niland.
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