Juice … live

Madrid Jazz Festival ’14 – yesterday evening in a full Conde Duque: Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood!

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A groove night with many surprises! Playing mainly repertoire from their latest album Juice, the quartet moved from jazz to funk and rock without letting the audience feel musical borders. Scofield made his guitar scream and swing, cry and tell stories, each played emotion mirrored by facial expressions, simply showing how deep he dug into himself to perform these incredible soli. But this is a band project, not a Scofield solo show, and Medeski, Martin & Wood again proved why they are such an amazing trio, with free flowing improvisations, groovy tunes and incredible musicianship all around. Adding Scofield to the mix is simply taking them to a different playing field.

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John Medeski showed why he has been riding high in all keyboard and organ polls and added some great piano soli as well, while Chris Wood and Billy Martin gave the music a solid carpet and heartbeat, with a few irregularities …. Just amazing! Constant changes in the music keep them and the listeners alert, once you think they settled in a groove, they are just taking it apart, flowing freely around, only to get back to the initial rhythm again. A great example of this was Sunshine of your love, even spacier than on the album, groovy, even when they went into a free improvisation and only the inherited groove kept things moving, before they got back into their own time again and finished the song as they started it: lose, but tight on the beat. When they finished the night’s concert with The Doors’ Light My Fire the audience jumped up and gave them an immediate standing ovation and only left after an encore that closed the evening on a quiet note: Bob Dylan’s The Times They are A Changing. A great concert with a great band – almost 2 hours of music and not one dull moment.

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