One of the discs I’ve recently borrowed from the library is called End of the World Party (Just in Case), by Medeski Martin & Wood. I first learned of MMW from my nephew. He’s got some very eclectic tastes and a few years ago, he passed along their Combustication release. I liked it, a lot.
Describing their music is difficult. One might say they’re a trio playing heavily improvisational jazz. The description seems to fit well, but I already know what they sound like. I’m not entirely convinced that you’d think of the same thing without already knowing their music. An additional reason they’re hard to describe is they’ve undergone significant change over time. MMV started with pure jazz but this album brings in flavours of all kinds of music to mix with their jazz foundation.
It’s surprisingly frustrating to me because I can’t even really describe this one album. The first track, “Anonymous Skulls,” for example, wouldn’t appear out of place on a movie soundtrack. It’s a moody evocative piece. The instrumentation is limited to drums, acoustic bass, and keyboards, but Medeski had a lot of keyboards. Other songs are more straight-up, but without exception, they all include outstanding performances. These guys are in fine form. Their music gets you into a groove and doesn’t let you out.
I’ve got four or five of their older albums, but as much as I enjoy them and appreciate the skills of the players, I haven’t really become involved with the music. It just hasn’t been accessible on an emotional level, you know? That’s changed with this album. I’m just crazy about it because it has ‘clicked’ with me, somehow.
If you can find your way to give it a listen, it would be worth the effort. Highly recommended.