Woodstock Sessions (Vol. 2), the new album by NYC avant-jazz trio Medeski Martin & Wood and experimental guitarist Nels Cline is a challenging piece of art. Recorded on August 27, 2013 at Applehead Studios in Woodstock, NY in front of a small audience, the four musicians threw around notes, riffs, tunings and time signatures in a dazzling array of on-the-spot improvisation. Culled form two hours of live music the album flows like an non-stop journey through rarely visited musical territories.
Most of the tracks are quite loud and boisterous, but it's not a shouting match between the four musicians. The monster jam Les Blank locks into a slow moving groove, with the players taking turns to break out of the stride and the electro-static intro of Arm & Leg gives way to howling guitar feedback and a Far East Percussion bit before turning in all out free jazz rock frenzy leading into Eighties King Crimson-alike progressive excursion.
This an album capturing the collaboration of like-minded souls whose curiosity and musicianship creates something new and adventurous.
John Medeski: keyboards
Billy Martin: drums
Chris Wood: bass
Nels Cline: guitar
Woodstock Sessions (Vol. 2) will be released on March 24 (April 22 in North America).Tracks:
- Doors of Deception
- Bonjour Beze
- Les Blank
- Arm & Leg
- 03/27 Vaulx-en-Velin, France @ Centre Charlie Chaplin
- 03/28 Stavanger, Norway @ Folken
- 03/29 Dortmund, Germany @ Domicil
- 04/01 Caen, France @ Grand Auditorium de Caen
- 04/02 Epinay, France @ Pole Musical d’Orgemont (PMO)
- 04/03 Rüsselsheim, Germany @ Theater Rüsselsheim
- 04/04 Istanbul, Turkey @ Babylon
- 04/05 Cully, Switzerland @ Chapiteau
- 04/06 London, United Kingdom @ Under the Bridge
- 04/07 Lugano, Switzerland @ Radio RSI
- 04/08 Milan, Italy @ Blue Note Milano
- 04/09 Milan, Italy @ Blue Note Milano
- 04/11 Voss, Norway @ Vossa Jazz
- 04/12 Krakow, Poland @ tba
HCTF review of Free Magic.