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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Music is Child's Play for Medeski Martin & Wood

I didn't set out to review a child-friendly album today, but that's exactly where today's artists leads us. I have been a huge Medeski, Martin and Wood fan for sometime now and that passion only grew with the release of "Out Louder" (Editor's Pick: Highly Recommended) - the project that the trio published in 2006 with legendary guitar talent John Scofield. Well flash forward to last week and the release of Medeski, Martin and Wood's brand new album; "Let's Go Everywhere."

Having Fun with MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD

LET'S GO EVERYWHERE - It's a Children's Album palatable for Adults

The album was created, it seems, with the realization that children are young and inexperienced but certainly not simple creatures. Why has the world provided our children with such simple and ridiculous un-engaging songs for kids to listen to? Enter Medeski Martin and Wood: The group settled on the idea of a journey, of travel both literal and figurative. It proved to be a motivating concept. “But we didn’t have much going in,” says Wood. “It was a thread we followed as we improvised, composed and worked through each piece on the spot. We call it ‘spontaneous composition.’” Martin agrees that “we really had very little figured out. maybe a few ideas about a beat or a nursery rhyme we liked, but we went into the studio not knowing what would happen.”

“It was terrifying,” agrees Medeski, laughing. “But that’s how it always is. Our music always comes out of improvisation.” Martin remembers how the ideas bounced around and how “Chris would be in one corner writing lyrics while I worked out the drum parts.” In four days, they managed to lay down the instrumental tracks for all 15 pieces.

Here is the Title Track from the new album. It's a great example of how a children's song, well-crafted and performed, can still capture the hearts and minds of a music-loving adult:

All three band members of the band see Let’s Go Everywhere as an opportunity to play music they like without talking down to kids. “Kids are really quick,” Medeski says. “We don’t need to treat them like idiots.” Wood agrees that “Kids are like sponges. We like to introduce our own kids to a huge range of music, and they love all kinds of sounds.” Martin calls this album “one of my favorite records, one of the best we’ve ever done” and says it brought band members closer together than ever. “It really sparked a new direction for us in many ways.”


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