Medeski Martin & Wood
Twenty years after Billy Martin asked Steven Bernstein to help him hatch a freaky avant brass band, Wicked Knee delivers their triumphant full-length debut, Heels Over Head. The 11-track recording, available today from Martin's own Amulet Records, brings together four of the New York City downtown jazz scene's most legendary improvisers, which along with Martin on drums and Bernstein on trumpet, features Curtis Fowlkes on trombone and Marcus Rojas on tuba.
The Colorado Jazz scene has always been active, but never really definitive. Denver and Boulder have few actual jazz venues (thank god for Dazzle Jazz) and most of the renowned artists that tour through choose mid-sized theatres, performing arts centers, or even laid back dives as their outlet. Since our music culture is so welcoming and lets face it, who wouldn’t want to tour through our beautiful state, we get some of the hottest names in Jazz touring through and giving their all to Rocky Mountain audiences.
Free Magic. Isn’t that what jazz-fusion is? Using a launch pad of some familiar melody, rhythmic riff, or instrumentation, and building it forward and outward until it gets really weird. That’s what Miles Davis realized about jazz music in the late 60s, that it was the root of all American music, and with that in mind any so-called style could be integrated into the so-called genre of jazz.
The Bear Creek music festival at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park was a fun filled sensual delight from the tingling chill of a Friday night freeze, the warmth of the campfire, fuzzy bear costumes all around, campfire smoke whimsically dancing through the air, laser light spectacles such as green naked lady outlines surfing through the trees, and did I mention the music? Destination Funkytown. Houston, we have landed. Bear Creek kept us movn and groonvn all night long.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
The heat resumed, but it felt so much worse after two days of partying and little sleep. I was appreciative of one thing on this sweltering morning wake-up; the showers had short lines for men, and they were only seven dollars. Therefore, although I really wanted to catch Baaba Maal’s set, I felt more rejuvenated going into the press conference with a fresh shower, breakfast, and an iced coffee. I was ready for a new day at my favorite festival.