Drummer Billy Martin, keyboardist John Medeski and bassist Chris Wood feed off the crowd energy and the energy of their multiple instruments. Medeski taps out hypnotizing rhythms and complex toons out of his keyboard. Along with a cavinet in his left hand and Hammond B3 organ in his right hand. Wood slaps his upright non-stop with complex time syncopations and when he gives that up, he grabs his electric without missin' a beat. And finally, Billy Martin, wails on his drums and out come African, Brazilian and down south funkified dirty beats.
Together they push the envelope into outer space stylings and wierd, funky, strange, complex, amazing music. They sometimes get very close to Sun Ra territory, which is hard to do.
They'll play the banjo, the mandolin, the trumpet, the sax, your forehead, several instruments I have no clue what they are, etc. Extraordinary musicians playin' music, as it should be, feeding off of each others sounds. None of these threee minute and out songs here. No radio friendly verse/verse/chorus songs here. Just good ol' pickin' and beatin'.
Tonight at the Fonda, best place around in my opinion as far as the total experience to see a show, John Scofield will join them. Scofield is one of the best at the jazz guitar. He played several months ago at the El Rey and covered his whole set with improvs on Ray Charles songs. You gotta have balls to do that! Amazing shit if you were lucky to see it.
Go check them out tonight. You'll see your drive/bike ride/bus ride/walk home tonight in a very different light and come home energized. Who knows, you might pick up some long put aside dusty instrument and find the love all over again.
Medeski, Martin, & Wood "Orbits"
U-Roy "Your Ace from Outer Space"