Dropper

The Dropper

by Medeski, Martin & Wood
     
 

After the release earlier this year of Tonic, a bracing, all-acoustic in-performance recital, some hard-core fans of Medeski, Martin & Wood might have suspected that the collective trio, known for their distinctive blend of deep grooves and sonic dissonance, was going soft. The Dropper will ease their concerns. Joined by noted hip-hop engineer Scotty…  See more details below

Overview

After the release earlier this year of Tonic, a bracing, all-acoustic in-performance recital, some hard-core fans of Medeski, Martin & Wood might have suspected that the collective trio, known for their distinctive blend of deep grooves and sonic dissonance, was going soft. The Dropper will ease their concerns. Joined by noted hip-hop engineer Scotty Hard (Wu-Tang Clan, P.M. Dawn) and a few rugged individualist tonal personalities (surf-to-free guitarist Mark Ribot on three tunes, blues-to-serial music violinist Charles Burnham on two, Sun Ra veteran screech altoist Marshall Allen on one), MMW return to the studio, deploying an orchestral palette of timbral color from a staggering array of keyboards, strings, and percussion to render a global menu of vernacular forms, including thrash ("We Are Rolling"), New Orleans second line ("Big-Time"), free swamp blues ("Felic"), outer partials-tinged acoustic jazz ("Illinization" or "Tsukemono"), and third stream-meets skronk ("Norah 6") -- they feed the mind with high-concept and energize the booty with a mix of primal beats that sustain dynamic flow. Think of an encounter between Sun Ra's Arkestra and John Zorn's Naked City to approximate the ambiance. As they conclude their first decade, MMW have achieved their own sound; The Dropper implies that they possess a questing spirit to guard against any descent into self-referential complacency.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
Drifting back closer to the avant-garde territory that they cut their teeth on, Medeski, Martin & Wood explore percolating sonic textures on The Dropper. Released by Blue Note in late 2000, the jazz trio's seventh album is a complex blend of Latin jazz, haunting soundscapes, hip-hop grooves, and John Medeski's trademark organ funk. The group is assisted on several tracks by guitarist Marc Ribot and the fourth instrument serves to add another layer to the eclectic mix, at times getting buried beneath the sampled loops and B-3 dirt. Recorded in the band's Brooklyn studio, Shacklyn, and co-produced by acclaimed hip-hop engineer Scotty Hard (Wu-Tang Clan, P.M. Dawn, Kool Keith), The Dropper exudes a streetwise, gritty vibe almost like the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique without the clever references. In fact, several of the 13 tracks on this album ("Philly Cheese Blunt," "Big Time") could be slipped into Check Your Head or the second half of Ill Communication and nobody would know. The less immediately funky tracks, like the avant-rhumba "Partido Alto" or the chilling final track "Norah 6" (accompanied by a sighing string section) may not appeal to the baseball capped Ninja Tune aficionados or the groove-seeking neo-deadheads, but fans of their early works in the New York experimental jazz-fusion scene will find several points of interest. While The Dropper is less immediately accessible than many of their previous albums, it ends up being more sonically rewarding, continuing to blur the lines between jazz, rock, and funk.
Spin Magazine - Richard Gehr
The Dropper is a quantum leap of inspired recklessness beyond anything keyboardist John Medeski, drummer Billy Martin, and bassist Chris Wood have recorded in their nine year career.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/24/2000
Label:
Blue Note Records
UPC:
0724352284122
catalogNumber:
22841

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Medeski, Martin & Wood   Primary Artist
Marc Ribot   Guitar
Marshall Allen   Alto Saxophone
Charlie Burnham   Violin
John Medeski   Keyboards
Paula Potocki   Surdo
Billy Martin   Percussion,Drums,Bass Drums,Gong,Berimbau,Repique,Cuica,Mbira,Reco-reco,talking drum,Lenga
Eddie Bobe   Conga
Jane Scarpantoni   Cello
Joan Wasser   Violin
Chris Wood   Bass,Electric Bass,Acoustic Bass,Ampeg Baby Bass
Peter Englehardt   Metal Percussion

Technical Credits

Scotty Hard   Producer,Engineer
John Medeski   Composer
Howie Weinberg   Mastering
Medeski, Martin & Wood   Producer
Billy Martin   Composer
Chris Wood   Composer
Heung-Heung "Chippy" Chin   Art Direction

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