Medeski, Martin, & Wood / the Wood Brothers
New Daisy Theatre
March 3, 2007
Chris Wood did double time on bass for the Wood Brothers and Medeski Martin & Wood show at the New Daisy Theater in Memphis on March 3.
To kick off the evening, the Wood Brothers worked the crowd up easy, ably running through a string of originals from Ways Not To Lose like "Atlas" and "Tried and Tempted." These were balanced with well-placed, nicely executed covers of the Allman Brothers Band's "Midnight Rider" and the Beatles' "Fixing a Hole." The brothers played well off each other and strong vocal harmonies smoothed out a few rough transitions.
Livening things up, John Medeski and Billy Martin took the stage with their bass player shortly after the Wood Brothers and offered a capable and entertaining, but seemingly uninspired, set for the next few hours.
This show probably disappointed any fan hoping for performances of any MMW material from albums released from 1992 to 1998. The lone appearance was "Chubb Sub" from Friday Afternoon in the Universe. The rest of the set came from more recent albums including first set performances of "Mami Gato" and "In Case the World Changes its Mind" from the group's recent collaboration with John Scofield, Out Louder.
All in all John Medeski did what he does best – layed down his keyboard mastery while orchestrating the rhythm section's next musical move.
These guys continue to be musician's musicians who constantly push the sonic envelope with compositions so complex that you have to wonder how many people in the Memphis audience that night really "got it." We're talking Stax country too!
But MMW might be the only band who comes to town with a Hammond B-3 and doesn't pay homage to those roots. And in a way, that's refreshing.
They've come a long way from being an unbelievable jazz trio, but the road might have lost some fans along the way. Take a baby grand on tour next go round and dust off some tracks from Notes from the Underground.
all photos by Josh Mintz / photosbyjosh.com