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Radiolarians III

Artist: Medeski, Martin & Wood
Medeski, Martin & Wood - Radiolarians III CD
Label: Indirecto
Regular Price: $15.95
On Sale For: $6.38 
Year: 2009
Format: CD


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Never let it be said that Medeski Martin and Wood repeat themselves but the trio's Radiolarians Series, in its ingenious concept of writing touring then recording all new material in quick succession, represents a willful effort to avoid the predictable.

Radiolarians 3 may be the most accessible installment, as the slightly sing-song quality of "Broken Mirror," synthetic string washes and all, becomes more attractive than it otherwise might be, in its placement as the penultimate cut of the nine here. Chris Wood’s bass line is nothing but ominous notes, while the waves of organ John Medeski unleashes are all ghostly as the drums of Billy Martin proceed to stalk the other instruments.

What sounds perfectly odd at first ultimately sounds perfectly natural as the trio enacts an absolutely sublime sonic shift within this cut. The sequencing logic of the tracks becomes apparent prior to that, however, during "Undone". Skewering of melody erupts with rhythm in a stop and go mode, as keyboards intertwine with what sounds like bass treated with effects. As the performance picks up speed, Hammond organ appears, its fluid sound a relief amplified with the addition of clavinet.

That tune comes closest to what might be termed ‘old-school’ Medeski Martin and Wood, but then there’s the way syncopated organ introduces "Wonton:" the threesome swiveling around each other and in so doing reaffirming their respect for space within their music. Each album of the Radiolarians Series, including this final installment, evinces its own integrity and in that respect, engineer and co-producer David Kent deserves kudos. He captures MMW in action with unadorned accuracy that nevertheless enhances the texture of their sound.
John Medeski (keyboards); Billy Martin (drums, percussion); Chris Wood (basses)
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