Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Medeski, Martin & Wood 

Thursday, November 11; Mississippi Nights

Countless jam bands owe their careers to Medeski, Martin & Wood, the avant-jazz trio that made it cool to groove again with 1996's Shack Man, a Hammond-hammered Phish-lot mainstay that opened the door for instrumental improv groups like Soulive and Particle.

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.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Latest in Critics' Picks

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 21, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation