A group that effortlessly straddles the gap between avant-garde improvisation and accessible groove-based jazz, Medeski, Martin, & Wood have simultaneously earned standings as relentlessly innovative musicians and an enormously popular act. Emerging out of the New York downtown scene in the early '90s, the group soon established themselves as a force to be reckoned with on the jazz scene. Billy Martin, the trio's drummer/percussionist, says that the key to MMW's success is band chemistry. "We admire each other. It's like a family. We're here to play music, but we're also friends. All of our compositions are collaborations that we spontaneously develop on the road or in the studio. Everyone contributes and everyone balances each other out. But what's really important is that we feel comfortable trying new things together." Medeski adds, "That's right. We could settle for just being a grooving organ trio. But that would be too easy. We not only like the challenge, but we're also seeking new ways to express ourselves."
September 16, 2009
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