Medeski Martin and Wood
Check this sound out!
Holy shit, THEY ARE BACK and on top rocking a bad-assed groove that would even make a goth fan break it down on the floor for you. Combustication helps Medeski Martin and Wood prove to the world that they are a juggernaught of new music in the Nineties.
I guess Blue Note is treating them well (ever heard a rumor that they didn’t dig their record deal with Gramavision?) since this album is so far superior to their last Gramavision release Shack Man. This is tied with Friday Afternoon in the Universe for their best work to date. Where that album fully introduced us and spilled out the guts of this trio, Combustication shows us how deep their steady funk can get. A modern approach to Rare Groove? Seriously good music here, no more no less.
The DJ work aides the hoppin’ opening cut “Sugarcraft” in the slickest way — especially the cat fight sample! You get a mouthful of sincere soul on “Everyday People,” and some more on “Start/Stop” with wild percussive organ flavour. Tasty. The hand-clapping action on “Hey-Hee-Hi-Ho” is so ultra fresh… fits like a glove and no other combo could pull an old sound like that off.
In the past I’ve heard people say that Billy Martin really shines in the group, with his totally solid and choppy percussion, but the band plays together so well that no one outdoes anyone else on this album. Everyone is performing together at an all-out powerhouse level of expertise. MMW has played and produced a remarkable work that resolidifies their impressive status as the best jazz combo of the nineties.