Medeski Martin & Wood

Genuine charisma is what sets Chris and Oliver Wood Brothers Band apart from other contemporary rock bands. Their own brand of Americana, fused by two different musical paths bound together, has evolved from a genre-bending project into a highly popular full time band. Before the groups’ inception in 2004, many were less familiar with guitarist Oliver Wood but knew his brother Chris as the virtuoso bass ace of avant-garde jazz trio MMW.

The Onion’s AV Club has a long-running series named “Undercover,” where a visiting artist covers a song from a list of 25 staff-selected favorites. These songs range wildly from Kanye West to Tom Waits, so bands often have to stretch far out of their comfort zone to make the cover work.

Medeski Martin & Wood have announced a West Coast acoustic tour in April. The nine-date run begins at The Roseland Theater in Portland on April 17 and extends through southern California, wrapping at the Belly Up in Solana Beach on April 27.

The issue with calling any band a "jam band" is that you force them into an extreme marginalization that could come along with a stigma. The category "jam band" could encompass everything from Little Feat, The Disco Biscuits, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Phish, or MMW.

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.

Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood | Boulder Theater | 12/8/2012

Organ and drums duo, Billy Martin & Wil Blades, perform 11 shows this November, including dates in the southern United States and Chicago, Toronto, Canada and Mexico.

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.