Challenging the acclaim of their initial collaboration on John Scofield’s A Go Go (Verve 1998), Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood will release OUT LOUDER Sept. 26 on Indirecto Records, Medeski, Martin and Wood’s new label.
The quartet, who first collected praise back in ’98 for merging the free-flowing approach of jam bands with jazz technique, resumes this exploration eight years later as they continue to discover new styles of musical fusion with influences as diverse as their audience.
Scofield indicated his excitement in rejoining with Medeski, Martin and Wood for the creation of this album. “We’ve always hit it off as a foursome, and I wanted to see what would happen if we did something that was a true collaboration, where everyone could play completely free,” he commented in a press release.
As recording began, the group quickly realized they must disregard all preconceived notions and standards in an effort to create a truly innovative second album. The bar was set high, and all four musicians were receptive to the challenge. “Maybe 60 percent was improvising and writing together,” said Martin in the news release. “The best things seemed to come out of inspiration.”
Tracks evoke sentiments of the old and the unknown, a mastery of traditional technique apparent in their fresh approach. One track provides the soundtrack for a Spanish beach, while the next finds the group in classic soul-jazz groove territory. “People connect with grooves and funk, they feel it in their gut,” elaborated Medeski. “We understand complex harmonies, but in the end we know that you don’t have to play all those notes to connect with people. The groove and spirit is what connects with people.”
One can only imagine the creative process that resulted in these 12 tracks. The entire album was recorded in less than a week at MMW’s modest studio in downtown Brooklyn.
“Something about it being down there made the music that much grungier. It gave us that feeling of being a hungry garage band searching for the coolest licks and grooves without worrying about making everything perfect. We could just let it all hang out. Everyone was set up in the same room with all our amps and equipment, and you could feel what everyone else was playing that much better and really react to everything around you,” recalled Wood.
“Sometimes we would play free stuff, listen back, make a song out of it, and then go back with the idea in mind and play free again,” added Scofield. “I’ve never played like that before. The music was all about surprise.”
Medeski, Scofield, Martin and Wood will tour the Northeastern and Midwestern United States this fall. Dates are listed below.
11/10/06 Washington, DC / 9:30 Club
11/11/06 Philadelphia, PA / Electric Factory
11/12/06 Northampton, MA / Calvin Theatre
11/14/06 Burlington, VT / Higher Ground
11/15/06 Providence, RI / Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
11/16/06 Boston, MA / Berklee Performance Center
12/03/06 Lawrence, KS / Liberty Hall
12/04/06 Columbia, MO / The Blue Note
12/05/06 St Louis, MO / Mississippi Nights
12/07/06 Minneapolis, MN / First Avenue
12/08/06 Milwaukee, WI / The Eagles Club
12/09/06 Chicago, IL / Vic Theatre
12/10/06 Indianapolis, IN / Vogue Theatre