Sunday, July 19, 2009

radiolarians III by medeski martin & wood

Sometimes blogging can lead to the most random musical encounters -- like when someone you respect takes you by the arm and expounds upon his favorite bands...only to have one favorite band's newest album show up in your inbox less than twenty-four hours later. My life -- as a rule -- is never that serendipitous. Oh Medeski Martin & Wood...you had me at hello.

The experimental jazz trio's newest album Radiolarians III (out August 4th) is the oh-so-cleverly named third disk in the Radiolarians series. The concept is simple: Tour. Play and perfect new material. Go into the studio and record. Lather, rinse, and repeat. Mock anyone who tells you that a band that has been together eighteen years can't pull off that kind of intensity.

I might have made that last part up.

The results are an engaging no-holds-barred experiment in creativity that is intensely enjoyable and highly varied. At times it's loungey...without evoking the need for listeners to be clad in any form of polyester. It's wildy-experimental at points, often verging on complete collapse...without the listener having to take a music theory class to understand what they are trying to accomplish. Once and awhile, it also manages to sound incredibly synthetic...without ever allowing the listener to forget these are three guys, playing every freaking note. Had someone introduced me to contrasting themes and elements like this at an early age, I might not have been so quick to give up on jazz band....

....then again, there's something to be said for everything happening in its time.

mp3: "Undone" by Medeski Martin & Wood

1 comment:

Glen said...

Definitely worth a listen!