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RADIOLARIANS II

Medeski Martin & Wood

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Medeski  Martin & Wood Radiolarians II album cover
3.67 | 9 ratings | 3 reviews | 29% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1- Flat Tires
2- Junkyard
3- Padirecto
4- ijiji
5- Riffin' Ed
6- Amber Gris
7- Chasen vs Suribachi
8- Dollar Pants
9- Amish Pinxtos
10- Baby, Let Me Follow You Down (traditional)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


John Medeski / keyboards
Billy Martin / drums and percussion
Chris Wood / basses

Releases information


Indirecto Records
Produced by Medeski Martin & Wood Recorded at Shackston Studio, Kingston, NY Mixed at Synergy Recording, Kingston NY Recorded & Mixed by David Kent, Assisted by Jed Kosiner Mastered by Alan Silverman, Arf Mastering Management by Liz Penta, Emcee Artist Management

Thanks to Tsevir Leirbag for the addition
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MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD Radiolarians II ratings distribution


3.67
(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
29%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
43%
Good, but non-essential (29%)
29%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD Radiolarians II reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The renowned keyboard-bass-drum combo from Brooklyn continues to defy anything approaching conventional logic, and at this stage in the band's ongoing two-decade long career I'm ready to admit they can do no wrong.

Volume Two of the trio's otherwise unrelated instrumental trilogy of albums offers another eclectic mix of mismatched but not uncomplimentary styles: space-rock improvisation, acoustic acid-jazz psychedelia, toe-tapping trip hop beats, and free-form instant composition, all fused into a unique and singular style. The ten selections here, together with Part One (and presumably the as-yet unheard Volume III), not only set a new creative benchmark for such an already wildly idiosyncratic group, but also breathe a gust of fresh air into the stale conventions of Jazz-Rock Fusion.

The new album is more immediately aggressive than its predecessor, beginning with the unexpected assertiveness of 'Flat Tires' (fans of mid-'70s MAGMA and KING CRIMSON are hereby put on alert), and continuing with the inner-city film noir soundtrack of 'Junkyard'. Beatnik groove fests follow jarring Post-Rock improvs follow swinging Jazz-Funk dance exercises, all composed and played with disarming grace and virtuosity, not to mention a playful sense of humor: listen to the seemingly spontaneous 'ijiji' (among others) for proof.

There's even the telltale orchestral drone of a Mellotron audible on several tracks, further evidence (if more was needed) that the band deserves a prominent spot on this web site.

As it was in Part One, the music here was fleshed out in front of an audience while on tour before the trio even approached a recording studio, giving the subsequent album(s) all the energy and vitality of a live recording. And after such a challenging set of original music the smoky late-night blues of 'Baby Let Me Follow You Down' is the perfect cushion for a soft landing: pure magic, and (almost) entirely acoustic.

Onwards now to Part Three, and what promises to be the final chapter of a potential five- star trilogy.

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#239498) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Wavering between avant-garde and more straightforward jazz, this generally enjoyable outing has some rather nice laidback piano-dominated moments. I don't expect it to appeal to everyone or even most, but for those who enjoy both breezy and lounging jazz music with occasional eccentricities, this is a great listen.

"Flat Tires" Arbitrary noises like drums and banging on a piano underscore a gritty riff. Over light drumming and bass is some atonal piano. Initially, I wondered what I was getting myself into, but fortunately the opener is more of an anomaly than anything else.

"Junkyard" A harsh, electronic tone subtlety dominates the beginning, but soon a wobbly bass and drums join. The piece has a pleasant, almost Cajun feel.

"Padirecto" Easygoing bass, percussion, and light piano make up a track that sounds like a bit of instrumental Norah Jones. The ending and the transition to it is nothing less than stellar.

"Ijiji" This strangely-titled piece has extremely pleasant moments interspersed with prattling nonsense. It's difficult to decide if I like it.

"Riffin' Ed" Gentle jazz piano caresses the listener's ears until it settles into an upbeat yet still laidback groove, full of entertaining piano licks.

"Amber Gris" A shadowy piano riff in an odd time signature lays the foundation for this piece. It stays fairly repetitive as a riff similar to that used in Weather Report's "Birdland" takes over.

"Chasen vs Suribachi" Certainly one of the stranger tracks, this has heavy drumming, Mellotron, unstable tempos, and bizarre instrumentation throughout.

"Dollar Pants" A ridiculously repetitive riff serves as something for the piano to solo over. It's fun, but doesn't go anywhere.

"Amish Pinxtos" Borrowing from old funk and fusion, this piece incorporates what sounds like a harmonica over a jaunty rhythm section. It also involves some quirky instrumentation.

"Baby, Let Me Follow You Down" Dissonant yet slow piano opens the final track, a rendition of a traditional blues tune made popular by Bob Dylan.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#256895) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 19, 2009

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Second album from MMW "Radiolarians" trilogy is as good as previous one. You will find there all best components this trio is know about. Groovy and funky vintage tunes, with plenty of keys and bass. Extremely melodic, not over produced or too complex, but catching you very soon.

Even if similar to the first trilogy's album, this work is more acoustic, more jazzy, more funky. Let say, in their non-traditional nu jazz mix musicians put more jazz, fusion and funk traditional sound. So I believe this album possibly is the best entrance to Trilogy for newcomer.

With their easy accessible music, always pleasant tunes, never boring diversity of musical components in their musical mixture, band with all "Radiolarians" trilogy confirmed their position as one of US nu jazz leaders.

I can recommend this album for any jazz fusion lover interested in newest genre's trends. Pleasant and accessible work, but not so simple as it looks sometimes from the surface.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#272669) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 18, 2010

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