Archive for Funk

Medeski, Martin & Wood – Jamaica 2016

Medeski, Martin & Wood began 2016 (their 25th year playing together!) with a handful of shows in Jamaica opening for moe. and Little Feat. Fortunately for us, Little Feat archivist Chris Cafiero was on hand filming the first three nights (of the four), and he even snagged soundboard audio patches each night. Another taper, Steve Wilner also filmed with cameras at both stage right and stage left, as well as front of house. These tapers graciously shared the raw files with me and now we can all enjoy all three nights in multi-camera glory. If you’re an MMW fan, get ready for 3 hours of couch tour! Did I mention that Chris is playing only his Fender Jazz bass for the whole run? Or that they bust out tons of old favorites and get into a large amount of tasty groove-based improvisation? I shouldn’t have to say anything else. But I will say cheers to #MMW25! We’re off to a great start and let’s hope they book a lot more gigs, including something in New Orleans for Jazz Fest!

Medeski Martin & Wood 1/12/16 Jamaica

Medeski Martin & Wood 1/11/16 Runaway Bay, Jamaica @ Jewel Paradise Cove Resort – Tropical Throe.down 2016:
Sorrow [David Bowie / The McCoys cover] > Lonely Avenue [Ray Charles cover] > Think > Improv > Is There Anybody Here That Love My Jesus, Gonzo [James Booker cover]

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Medeski Martin & Wood 1/12/16 Jamaica

Medeski Martin & Wood 1/12/16 Runaway Bay, Jamaica @ Jewel Paradise Cove Resort – Tropical Throe.down 2016:
Improv > Coconut Boogaloo > Henduck > Improv > Shackman

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Medeski Martin & Wood 1/13/16 Jamaica

Medeski Martin & Wood 1/13/16 Runaway Bay, Jamaica @ Jewel Paradise Cove Resort – Tropical Throe.down 2016:
Chinoiserie [Duke Ellington cover], Just Like I Pictured It, Night Marchers > Improv > Wiggly’s Way, Brigas Nunca Mais [Antonio Carlos Jobim / Elis Regina cover], Heaven On Earth [Larry Young cover]

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You can find the audio downloads for all 3 nights over at bt.etree.org.
Night 1
Night 2
Night 3

Also, for a limited time, I have the 8 gig edited video files (with uncompressed LPCM audio) from each night available for download.
Night 1
Night 2
Night 3

Jam Cruise 2016 VIDEOS: Lettuce in the Theater, Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff in the Jam Room and Eric Bloom in the Jazz Lounge

Lettuce Jam Cruise Pantheon Theater

Lettuce 1/8/16 Jam Cruise – Part 1 of 2:
“Neal Untitled”, Let Bobby, Ghost of Jupiter, Squadlive > Lettsanity > Body Heat [James Brown cover] (with Nigel Hall) > Lettsanity

Bee Getz as quoted in his Jam Cruise 14 overview review at Live For Live Music:

I am not sure I have vernacular to adequately describe what went down in that room. Lettuce is already leading the charge toward the new frontier; evolving, growing and exploding into a genre all their own. In the Pantheon Theater, twas a mixture of the hour, the elements, and environs. Riding the high of their film screening, this was a focused band on a mission. The willingness to dive headfirst into pure, free-form Type II jamming, as an eight or nine piece ensemble, was astonishing. That they are delivering these excursions to the netherworlds is enough; yet the physicality of their sound is a historical discovery, a breakthrough on the search for new land. Infinitely more bass gymnastics from the crooked cross became an assiduous assault. This was sonic ammunition for a frenzied dance-rage deep into the ocean waters, never mind thousands of leagues beneath.

From bombastic trap-thunderclaps, with humongous bottom end from the man they call Jesus, the question wasn’t bass, it was how low could they go. The sounds emanating from Neal Evans were grandiose; downright imperial in their psychedelia. The same can be said for the synth-rig Ryan Zoidis pumped through his alto, drenched in the dankest in dub arkology. Furious percussion grooves from Deitch, augmented by Tyler Coomes, created opulent hip-hop temples of boom, This new soundwave enabled their wide-open improvisations to be created with colors native to Tipper, or Thriftworks, yet the textures are in the late 70’s Bootsy Collins zip code, Benny Bloom was the G-code personified, blowing his bitch’s brew atop the wave. There is simply no other music being made like this. Period. On this night, Lettuce would drop no less than THREE of these magnum opuses, snowflake adventures bursting at the themes. The first two were Neal Evans‘ creations; dude is a mad freaking scientist, imagining post-apocalyptic galaxies and manifesting them in song. This was the spirit of ‘Choose Your Own Adventure,’ set to psychedelic crunk. Throw in a Nigel Hall and Shmeeans-led D’angelo tease (“Chicken Grease”) in the middle of “Do It Like You Do” and Lettuce officially shut down Jam Cruise. We have glimpsed the future. Get some shades, yo.

Lettuce 1/8/16 Jam Cruise – Part 2 of 2:
Blast Off > Trillogy > Making My Way Back Home (inc. Bustin Loose [Chuck Brown cover]) (with Nigel Hall) > Do It Like You Do (inc. Chicken Grease [D’Angelo cover]) (with Nigel Hall & ???)

Lettuce question & answer session 1/8/16 Jam Cruise:
Earlier in the afternoon, after they premiered the “Let Us Play” documentary there was a Q&A session with everyone from Lettuce plus Kunj Shah of Live 4 Live Music (producer of the film) and Jay Sansone of Human Being (director of the film)

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Shmeeans Jam Room Jam Cruise

The night before, Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff held down the Jam Room for no less than 3 hours. It started around 2:30am with Alvin Ford Jr. holding down the main drum chair for approximately 2.5 hours with only a short break for Trombone Shorty’s rhythm section to jump in.

Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff’s Jam Room 1/7/16 Jam Cruise – Part 1 of 4:
A loose Jam with Deitch on the 2nd drum kit and Ivan Neville, Borahm Lee & Nigel Hall flourishing on the keyboards.

Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff’s Jam Room 1/7/16 Jam Cruise – Part 2 of 4:
An hour later I stepped back in to find Trombone Shorty‘s rhythm section (Mike Ballard & Joey Peebles) laying it down and pumping and slinking through several improvisational grooves along with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe guitarist DJ Williams and Jans Ingber (formerly of the The Motet).

Meanwhile, stuff like this happened:

Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff’s Jam Room 1/7/16 Jam Cruise – Part 3 of 4:
Then Nigel Hall and Jesus Coomes joined Ryan Zoidis, Eric McFadden and a dual drum assault of Isaac Teel from Tauk and Alvin Ford Jr. for a run through Nigel’s own tune “Don’t Change For Me” with a slight bridge to pay tribute to the godfathers The Meters on “A Message From The Meters”. Shit was hot.

Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff’s Jam Room 1/7/16 Jam Cruise – Part 4 of 4:
The jams just continued and continued with Charly Lowry (recent vocalist for The New Mastersounds) and many other players. Jesus gives up the bass to Oteil Burbridge and Deitch tries to battle it out with Alvin Ford Jr., but Ford the cyborg holds it down like a machine and prevails with Deitch throwing in the towel around 5am. Shortly after this video ended, the very talented unknown female guitarist seen here took over on bass duties and kept it rocking for 30+ more minutes. Does anyone know who she is?

Bee Getz as quoted in his Jam Cruise 14 overview review at Live For Live Music:

The concept of the Jam Room is in its essence what makes this boat sail. Lettuce guitarist Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff had hosting duties on night two, and it was a gluttonous, rowdy affair; the funk and grooves were massive, and the sound was gargantuan. Ably assisted by members of Lettuce, Dumpstaphunk, Jans Ingber, Todd Stoops, Eric McFadden, Tyler and Jesus Coomes, Oteil Burbridge, among others, the first two hours of this Jam Room was maybe the best of the week. Alvin Ford Jr, drummer of Dumpstaphunk, showed everybody why he is a fucking cyborg. Word on the street is that Ford was created in a lab, fed only the highest grade supplements, and trained twenty hours a day for twenty years. He is now a veritable Terminator. built to destroy any drum kit or drummer, at any given moment in time. The ‘Boy Wonder’ Adam Deitch, and the new kid on the block Isaac Teel (Tauk) both sat down to double drum with Ford, and for a while they each pushed along and rode the train as best they could. In the end, Ford took them both down, as Deitch playfully gave up and threw his sticks in the air, signifying “defeat”, while Teel took it in stride, as he definitely had the most God-given steez of any player on the Divina. Daps go to Shmeeans for leading this ensemble through some of the heaviest funk on Jam Cruise. Key tunes- an uplifting, bouncing “Don’t Change for Me” (Nigel Hall), a raging “Hang Up Your Hang Ups” (Herbie Hancock), and “Thank You for Lettin Me Be Mice Elf, Again” (Sly Stone).

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Eric Benny Bloom Jam Cruise Jazz Lounge

Eric “Benny” Bloom’s Jazz Lounge 1/7/16 Jam Cruise – Part 1 of 4:
The end of Mercy, Mercy, Mercy [Joe Zawinul cover] with Johnny Vidacovich, David Torkanowsky (both of Astral Project), Michael League (of Snarky Puppy), Will Bernard & Congo Sanchez

Eric “Benny” Bloom’s Jazz Lounge 1/7/16 Jam Cruise – Part 2 of 4:
Night Train [Jimmy Forrest cover] with Stanton Moore swapping out with Johnny Vidacovich and Mike Maher (of Snarky Puppy) joining on trumpet

Eric “Benny” Bloom’s Jazz Lounge 1/7/16 Jam Cruise – Part 3 of 4:
Passion Dance [McCoy Tyner cover] with Stanton Moore, David Torkanowky, James Singleton, Will Bernard, Skerik & Weedie Braimah

Eric “Benny” Bloom’s Jazz Lounge 1/7/16 Jam Cruise – Part 4 of 4:
How Blue Can You Get [Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers cover] with Alvin Ford Jr., David Torkanowsky, James Singleton, Eric McFadden & Skerik

Worship My Organ 1/9/16 on Jam Cruise 14

Worship My Organ on Jam Cruise 14

Worship My Organ 1/9/16 Jam Cruise – Part 1 of 5:

Worship My Organ, born as a NOLA Jazzfest engagement, set up shop in the Black and White Lounge, ready to do business. The collaboration of Robert Walter, Skerik, Adam Deitch and Marco Benevento is a maniacal one. For one hour and fifty-seven minutes, the fearsome foursome did not relent, and the music never stopped. The sounds arrived in a series of waves cloaked in frightening darkness; kicking down heady vamps and joints from the most demonic places, Walter, Benevento, Adam Deitch and Skerik unleashed a lesson in sonic bondage and tourniquet terror. Skerik’s inimitable notes serenaded with sadistic intentions.

Drummer Deitch brought out the best in his collaborators, and he channeled a particular personality of his foil that suits the moment’s need. On this night, Deitch was baiting and surrendering to the flow, playing loose and lyrical. Adam, utilizing a garbage can and its lid to augment his floor tom, began to unveil the classic hip hop knock with his lead right foot.

Commandeering the ship, Deitch set the table for Skerik to get diabolical, and unleash his patented spastic shrieks, the torrid response to the Walter/Benevento duality. Each keyboard player found a lane to drive, be it Hammond, Rhodes, or Wurlitzer, and Skerik needed not a reason to get weird. The drummer remained the anchor and the captain of this beautifully nightmarish séance of complete improvisation. Worship My Organ was simultaneously progressive and danceable. This was trip hop and free-Jazz, on steroids. The key tune was the performance itself.

Bee Getz as quoted in his Jam Cruise 14 overview review at Live For Live Music.

Worship My Organ 1/9/16 Jam Cruise – Part 2 of 5:
(listen for The National Anthem by Radiohead around 10 minutes in!)

Worship My Organ 1/9/16 Jam Cruise – Part 3 of 5:

Worship My Organ 1/9/16 Jam Cruise – Part 4 of 5:

Worship My Organ 1/9/16 Jam Cruise – Part 5 of 5: