The Japanese Edition of the Revered Jazz Trio''s Winter 2002 Album features a Bonus Track: ''fox (Live)''
It's possible to admire Medeski Martin and Wood's craft and guile in pushing against stylistic restraints while recognizing that their music isn't quite as much fun as it once was--or that this hugely popular trio may think it is. Full of shaggy cross-textures, plummy grooves, and spooky electronic underpinnings, Uninvisible is a lively sonic stew. Once a universe unto themselves, keyboardist John Medeski, drummer Billy Martin, and bassist Chris Wood continue to smartly expand their jam-band base, here featuring a brash five-piece horn section from the Brooklyn-based Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, turntablists DJ Olive and DJ P Love, and, for a spoken-word number, craggy-voiced Southern rock eccentric Col. Bruce Hampton. When Medeski is riding that Hammond organ and the group is taking its patented soulful detours, as on "Pappy Check" and the Booker T-ish "Smoke," all is right with the world. But even with Medeski dabbling on a roomful of other instruments, including the Mellotron, mini-Moog, and Arp, the songs don't have a lot of variety. And crowded with effects, the music can bog down in its own abstract logic--though there's no resisting the ping-pong game being played on "Off the Table." The chief rewards of Uninvisible are in the details. Until further notice, a headphone advisory is in effect. --Lloyd Sachs
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