It’s a Jungle in Here

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Martin and Wood,Medeski
LABELS: Gramavision
WORKS: It’s a Jungle in Here
PERFORMER: John Medeski (org, p); Billy Martin (d, perc); Chris Wood (b) plus guest musicians including: Steve Bernstein (tpt, flug); Josh Roseman (tb); Jay Rodriques (ts, as) Dave Binney (as); Marz Ribot (g)
CATALOGUE NO: R2 79495 (New Note)


New York’s Downtown music scene has for the last ten years provided a shrewd commentary on where jazz might be heading as the millennium approaches. Musicians such as Bill Frisell and John Zorn head an impressive cast of experimenters who have built a solid body of work that stands out as much for originality of concept as its refusal to bow to accepted mores.


While players like a Joshua Redman or a David Sanchez make a play for the middle-of-the-road jazz market, the musicians of the ‘Loisiada’ jazz scene remain largely ignored. Medeski, Martin and Wood will never be heard in the Village Vanguard; their stamping ground is the Knitting Factory. This trio (two of whom are members of the Lounge Lizards) play churning, unpredictable and exciting jazz. Their creative lines of input have been left open so that their music does not wallow in comfortable certainties but flies past pigeon-holes. Stuart Nicholson