Strzy i Mlodzi Festivals fills up the weekend. But before we'll jump to the tonight's big event and tomorrow's finale (and a bonus round on tuesday) I feel a definite need to write up few sentences about yesterday.
Medeski Martin & Wood rock. Actually that's an understatement. They groove, they're hip, funky. They're just so much fun to ride along. Chris Wood's is dancing on his toes with the bass and together with Billy Martin they just create an unstoppable groove machine. Medeski jumps with his fingers over the four keyboards around him like a posessed man, toying with registers, timbres. Retro? If we want to play word games it's post-retro. The trio is obviously fascinated with the sound of the 60' and 70' jazz-rock but they play fresh and vigorous.
There are no composed forms in the traditional, song-like sense. We travel through abstract bridges but once we hit the groove, that's all there is. Groove and infinite layers of textures. Nels Cline adds a bit of gutiar whizz (very cool use of electronics, while the pyrotechnic solos were a had a bit of too much fusion inside for my taste).
Fellow jazz journalists had a chance to spoke with John Medeski before the concert and he confirmed his polish origins, apparently he's not the only one in the band either - Billy Martin's mom was pole as well. Best polish jazz band in the world? One thing is for sure - they put the fun(k) back in jazz. It was a hell of a joyful ride.
John Medeski - hammond B3, klavinet, wurlitzer piano, moog
Chris Wood - double bass, bass guitar
Billy Martin - drums, percussion
Nels Cline - guitar, electronics
12.03 Manggha. Krakow. Starzy i Mlodzi Festival