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Friday, Oct. 27, 2006

LISTENING POST: CD REVIEWS

Medeski, Scofield, Martin, and Wood "Out Louder"


Ten years ago when guitarist John Scofield joined Medeski, Martin and Wood on "A Go Go," the jam-band scene was just ripening. Nowadays it's hard to tell where swing ends and groove begins. Few bands, though, push the sonic limits with as much skill and gusto as MSMW on their second collaboration, "Out Louder."

The quartet leads off with the bluesy "Little Walter Rides Again," and through the next dozen tracks, they yank in whatever styles and moods they feel like playing around with. "What Now" references trippy 1960s rock, while "Miles Behind" and "Tootie Ma is a Big Fine Thing" blend punchy phrasing with articulate funk.

At times, it's easy to get lost in the fast switches of directions, but the seemingly telepathic link between bassist Chris Wood and drummer Billy Martin locks in the free-jazz to well-anchored rhythms. Eclectic and unpredictable, this like-minded quartet will hopefully be not only "Out Louder," but be out more often.



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