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Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2

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iTunes Review

Versatile guitarist Nels Cline brings something special to every setting he works in. He’s famous for the blistering lead lines he plays for the rock band Wilco, and he’s brought his special touch to countless jazz and free-improv recordings and shows. On Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2, he teams with Medeski, Martin & Wood, a trio that travel easily between genres. The album was recorded in a studio, but in real time. The resulting music includes dark ambient, energetic prog, wailing rock, and other sounds. The brief opener, “Doors of Perception,” is spacy and eerie in ways that recall Miles Davis circa Live Evil. “Bonjour Beze” moves through a number of passages; Eastern touches, note-bending synths, and distorted guitar rumbles all find their place. “Mezcal” combines '90s post-rock with Mahavishnu Orchestra–like leanings. John Medeski’s keyboard work shines on “Los Blank,” especially when he lets loose some dirty organ comping that could drive a choice Fela cut. Bells shimmer and cymbals splash on “Cinders,” where Cline and Medeski spin out sparkling psych tones. It’s a moody closer that leaves listeners wanting more.

Customer Reviews

Amazing Combination.

Nels Cline destroys it here. Any MMW fan should pick this up. It does get a little into the weeds like some of their stuff but still great stuff.

They've done it again!

MMW just keep it comin'!!!

Pure improv bliss

They really gel well with Cline. Medeski and Cline together generate a wonderful mix of tones and textures. All four musicians are fully in the zone. The music is exploratory, always on the edge, full of energy and ideas. This is improv, but it’s also clearly been selected from a larger set of recordings, so it’s like a set of concert highlights, only recorded in the studio. The playful quality and the wide range of sounds remind me a bit of The Dropper. Any MMW fan will be delighted.


Formed: 1992

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A group that effortlessly straddles the gap between avant-garde improvisation and accessible groove-based jazz, Medeski, Martin & Wood have simultaneously earned standing as relentlessly innovative musicians and as an enormously popular act. Emerging out of the New York downtown scene in the early '90s, MMW soon set out on endless cross-country tours before returning home to Manhattan to further refine their sound through myriad influential experimentations. Each of the musicians -- keyboardist John...
Full Bio
Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2, Medeski, Martin & Wood
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