End of the World Party (just in case)

Medeski Martin & Wood. <i>Blue Note</i>.

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

Subtle tensions ignite MMW’s exhilarating new album. There’s a tug-of-war between the hipster jazz vibe (tedious in large doses) and the trio’s frisky delight in playing for the old-fashioned fun of it. “New Planet” opens with a detached groove, blossoming into an ode to ’70s funk, fiery and leisurely at once. Elsewhere, jam-band excess and pop precision collide. With witty piano man John Medeski leading the way, the clean, lean “Queen Bee” recalls the soulful Memphis instrumentals of Booker T. & the MG’s, while the swinging title track echoes Ramsey Lewis’ exuberant ’60s pop jazz. Bassist Chris Wood and drummer Billy Martin may be the snappiest rhythm section alive, pulsing yet never pounding. Should the end be near, here’s the perfect sound track to ease the pain.

We Recommend


Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.