An Acoustic Evening With Medeski, Martin & Wood

Sun Apr 21 2013

8:00 PM (Doors 7:00 PM)

Knitting Factory Concert House - Reno

211 N. Virginia Street Reno, NV 89501

All Ages

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Knitting Factory Presents
An Acoustic Evening With Medeski, Martin & Wood

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  • An Acoustic Evening With Medeski, Martin & Wood

    An Acoustic Evening With Medeski, Martin & Wood

    Jazz

    Wide open: That’s the phrase John Medeski uses to describe his bandmates’ musical sensibilities, the attitude he seeks in himself, and the spirit of musical adventure that Medeski Martin & Wood have pursued for two decades.

    The trio’s amalgam of jazz, funk, “avant-noise” and a million other musical currents and impulses is nearly impossible to classify, which is just how they like it. Medeski’s keyboard excursions, Chris Wood’s hard-charging bass lines and Billy Martin’s supple, danceable beats have come to resemble a single organism, moving gracefully between genre-defying compositions and expansive improvisation atop a relentless groove. 

    When the three assembled at Martin’s Brooklyn pad for their first jam session in 1991, the chemistry was immediate and undeniable. “Billy started playing a beat. Chris started playing a bass line. I started playing. And it was instant music,” Medeski remembers, noting that his transcription of this, MMW’s first recorded flight, became the track “Uncle Chubb” on their first album. Martin joined them at their subsequent Village Gate sets, and they never looked back.

    Though the “jazz spirit,” as they like to call it, has been ever-present in their sonic voyages, Medeski Martin & Wood have won over a substantial audience that rarely responds to instrumental music, let alone a guitar-less trinity purveying an unholy blend of Jimmy Smith, György Ligeti and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. In fact, their club and festival appearances are packed with alternative-rock lovers as well as jam-band aficionados and jazz heads. “I blame Billy for that,” Medeski muses, hazarding that the drummer’s body-moving beats tend to disarm even the most pop-minded listeners. “Once they feel the groove he’s playing, I can get in there and infect their minds much more easily – and Chris can lay it down to keep them from losing it.”

    The band’s onstage adventurousness sparked an experimental approach to recording as well – as on 1996’s solar-powered Shack-Man, recorded in a plywood shack amid the mango trees and plumerias on Hawaii’s big island (and featuring Martin’s artwork on its cover); the funked-out 1998 Blue Note disc Combustication, which enlisted two radically different engineers to create complementary sonic approaches; the acoustic live set Tonic (2000), recorded in New York, and its plugged-in twin, 2001’s Electric Tonic; 2004’s End of the World Party (Just in Case), produced by John King of the Dust Brothers; their two collaborations with guitarist John Scofield, A Go Go (1998) and Out Louder (2006, under the name Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood); the 2008 children’s record Let’s Go Everywhere; and the 2008-09 Radiolarian series, a trilogy of albums generated according to a strict policy of “Write > Tour > Record > Repeat,” as the band noted in an online announcement. They’ve also founded and run their own label, Indirecto.

    The three also conduct a yearly musical retreat, Camp MMW, in the Catskills; with music classes, seminars, films, guest teachers and jam sessions, the August gathering encourages promising musicians of all stripes to get out of their comfort zones.

    Their reflections on having reached the extraordinary milestone of playing together for some 20 years? “We’re old motherfuckers, man,” Medeski replies with a laugh, adding, “We’re in a really good place. We’ve been writing a lot of new music. We always want to create a certain vibration in the evening – if we’re doing something new and feeling the excitement, that’ll do it.” 

Knitting Factory Presents

An Acoustic Evening With Medeski, Martin & Wood

Sun Apr 21 2013 8:00 PM

(Doors 7:00 PM)

Knitting Factory Concert House - Reno Reno NV
An Acoustic Evening With Medeski, Martin & Wood
  • Sorry, you missed this event.
  • Check out other similar events on TicketWeb.

All Ages

An Acoustic Evening With Medeski, Martin & Wood

An Acoustic Evening With Medeski, Martin & Wood

Jazz

Wide open: That’s the phrase John Medeski uses to describe his bandmates’ musical sensibilities, the attitude he seeks in himself, and the spirit of musical adventure that Medeski Martin & Wood have pursued for two decades.

The trio’s amalgam of jazz, funk, “avant-noise” and a million other musical currents and impulses is nearly impossible to classify, which is just how they like it. Medeski’s keyboard excursions, Chris Wood’s hard-charging bass lines and Billy Martin’s supple, danceable beats have come to resemble a single organism, moving gracefully between genre-defying compositions and expansive improvisation atop a relentless groove. 

When the three assembled at Martin’s Brooklyn pad for their first jam session in 1991, the chemistry was immediate and undeniable. “Billy started playing a beat. Chris started playing a bass line. I started playing. And it was instant music,” Medeski remembers, noting that his transcription of this, MMW’s first recorded flight, became the track “Uncle Chubb” on their first album. Martin joined them at their subsequent Village Gate sets, and they never looked back.

Though the “jazz spirit,” as they like to call it, has been ever-present in their sonic voyages, Medeski Martin & Wood have won over a substantial audience that rarely responds to instrumental music, let alone a guitar-less trinity purveying an unholy blend of Jimmy Smith, György Ligeti and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. In fact, their club and festival appearances are packed with alternative-rock lovers as well as jam-band aficionados and jazz heads. “I blame Billy for that,” Medeski muses, hazarding that the drummer’s body-moving beats tend to disarm even the most pop-minded listeners. “Once they feel the groove he’s playing, I can get in there and infect their minds much more easily – and Chris can lay it down to keep them from losing it.”

The band’s onstage adventurousness sparked an experimental approach to recording as well – as on 1996’s solar-powered Shack-Man, recorded in a plywood shack amid the mango trees and plumerias on Hawaii’s big island (and featuring Martin’s artwork on its cover); the funked-out 1998 Blue Note disc Combustication, which enlisted two radically different engineers to create complementary sonic approaches; the acoustic live set Tonic (2000), recorded in New York, and its plugged-in twin, 2001’s Electric Tonic; 2004’s End of the World Party (Just in Case), produced by John King of the Dust Brothers; their two collaborations with guitarist John Scofield, A Go Go (1998) and Out Louder (2006, under the name Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood); the 2008 children’s record Let’s Go Everywhere; and the 2008-09 Radiolarian series, a trilogy of albums generated according to a strict policy of “Write > Tour > Record > Repeat,” as the band noted in an online announcement. They’ve also founded and run their own label, Indirecto.

The three also conduct a yearly musical retreat, Camp MMW, in the Catskills; with music classes, seminars, films, guest teachers and jam sessions, the August gathering encourages promising musicians of all stripes to get out of their comfort zones.

Their reflections on having reached the extraordinary milestone of playing together for some 20 years? “We’re old motherfuckers, man,” Medeski replies with a laugh, adding, “We’re in a really good place. We’ve been writing a lot of new music. We always want to create a certain vibration in the evening – if we’re doing something new and feeling the excitement, that’ll do it.”