field report no.102016

LOCATION: Le Poisson Rouge NY.NY
SUBJECT: Medeski Martin & Cline

I've managed to catch MMW live, off and on, for well over a decade now. A couple of years ago, I saw their guest-star-studded 20th anniversary show, which makes this show feel something like a coda. Apparently, bassist Chris Wood fell ill and erstwhile collaborator Nels Cline was called in to sit in. The invitation was then extended a small raft of other collaborators: Steven Bernstein, Chris Lightcap, Julian Lage. Every person on that stage was both accomplished and stylists as well as consummate improvisers. As one would expect, it was a rollicking night filled with strong grooves—but not without some extended abstract passages. Personally, I would have loved to hear what Medeski Martin & Cline would do as a trio (Cline and Medeski both command small arsenals of psychedelic tricks) but even still, this was a musical party the only denizens  of downtown New York know how to throw.  

NOTES: John Medeski; Billy Martin; Nels Cline, plus Chris Lightcap; Steven Bernstein; Julian Lage
PRESENT: AMS; Jose A.; Jesse S.