The Hype: After building a reputation over the past two decades as one of the most inventive jam bands on the circuit, Medeski Martin & Wood could engage scruffy, neo-hippie Phishheads as well as a packed venue of jazz enthusiasts. The band's latest project is the three-disc Radiolarians: The Evolutionary Set, issued on their own Indirecto label.
The Show: Somehow unique and euphoric, shit always happens when you put keyboardist John Medeski, drummer Billy Martin, and bassist Chris Wood together. The harmonic blend of cowbells and beating cymbals intertwined with the piano keys is something you could definitely jive with Friday night at the House of Blues in Anaheim. Wood turned around slowly, stirring through marijuana-scented air. He grabbed his guitar, fingers tightly cupped around the neck. Two vertical lines scored his brow. Glancing over his shoulder, he smiled at Martin and gleamed at the throbbing, sweat-filled crowd of around 400 people. Everybody was dancing to the vibe, embodying the music.