In the years since, the threesome has plugged up other holes with a free-jazz edge on The Dropper (and drummer Billy Martin's wild solo work) and the hip-hop-influenced bop on Combustication. But 2002's Uninvisible returned the band to its funky roots, much to the pleasure of dance fans sick of watching John Medeski's loose freakouts and much to the disappointment of jazz snobs hoping that the increasingly popular band would be opening more doors for new fans.
Live, there's always room for MMW's wilder side, whether it's in all-acoustic jazz sets, unusual covers (the trio absolutely destroys Hendrix's "Crosstown Traffic") or a percussive outburst from Martin, long the band's ace in the hole. When they fall into a groove, though, it's time to watch out; their success owes as much to their experimentation as it does to finding a pocket and running with it.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.