John Medeski’s Mad Skillet Announces Debut Album, Shares First Single [Listen]

first_imgJohn Medeski is a busy man. The prolific pianist is one of the most renowned players in the live music scene with countless projects under his belt, from Medeski, Martin & Wood, his long-running and critically acclaimed jazz-funk group with Billy Martin and Chris Wood, to Hudson, to a relatively new project featuring iconic jazz artists including drummer Jack DeJohnette, guitarist John Scofield, and bassist Larry Grenadier.This morning, John Medeski announced that another one of his many projects, John Medeski’s Mad Skillet, will release their self-titled debut album together, due out November 9th via Medeski Martin & Wood’s record label, Indirecto Records. Also featuring guitarist Will Bernard, sousaphonist Kirk Joseph, and drummer Terence Higgins, Mad Skillet was born out of the collaborative musical marathon that is New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. After coming together during a late-night in 2015, the quartet has appeared multiple times during the late-night hours of Jazz Fest tradition, in addition to touring across Europe together in 2017.“Something happens there. There’s something in the air, the water, the food,” says Medeski about New Orleans in a press release. “Every time we play, it really is magical. We get together and this thing lifts. It has a life of its own, beyond any of us. There’s a lot of ESP in New Orleans music. There’s a certain feel that New Orleans guys have that you can’t get anywhere else.”The press release details the upcoming album’s vibe and feel:Indeed, Mad Skillet has an X factor that sets it apart from the rest of Medeski’s remarkable discography. Throughout the 9-track effort, Higgins finds that elusive space shared among second-line, swing, funk, Afro-Cuban rhythms and hip-hop. Joseph, the scion of the late New Orleans lion Waldren “Frog” Joseph, holds down the low end with a power Medeski calls the “reality factor that comes through with the sousaphone: heart, mind, ears, breath.” As for Bernard, there’s “just something that happens to Will in New Orleans that is unexplainable,” Medeski says. Recorded at the Living Room, a studio housed in a Depression-era church straight across the Mississippi River from downtown New Orleans, Mad Skillet finds the guitarist showcasing the scope of his abilities and tones like never before. Medeski’s longtime friend and collaborator Scotty Hard provides invaluable sonic guidance at the mixing board.While Medeski’s name is out front, the album reflects a spirit of interplay and equality among members. Bernard contributes the sauntering soul of “Man About Town” and the rocking, Meters-esque workout “Little Miss Piggy.” Joseph offers “Adele,” whose gorgeous melodica melody evokes desert vistas and Ennio Morricone scores. Two spontaneous group compositions, “Tuna in a Can” and “Psychedelic Rhino,” present an engaging variation on the avant-garde. Sun Ra’s “The Golden Lady” is marked by atmospheric use of Medeski’s Mellotron bass-clarinet timbre and killer spy-movie guitar. The keyboardist’s tunes include “Invincible Bubble,” (hear/share) a cathartic, open-hearted tribute to his step-daughter; “Piri Piri,” with its hip, rapid-fire unison lines; and “The Heart of Soul,” for MMW’s late booking agent Chip Hooper, featuring masterful slide guitar and hard-grooving R&B piano.But more than a collection of tunes, Mad Skillet is about an energy and a city. “The hang before you play is just as important as the session,” Medeski concludes. “You have to really be open to get to that place, to get to that vibration where it’s all coming together.”Listen to the first track, “Invincible Bubble”, which was released today:John Medeski’s Mad Skillet – “Invincible Bubble”[Video: medeskimusic]John Medeski’s Mad Skillet will embark on a 13-date U.S. tour surrounding the release, beginning with a festival appearance at Utopiafest in Burnet, TX and including shows throughout the Midwest and Northeast.John Medeski’s Mad Skillet Track Listing1. Man About Town2. Invincible Bubble3. Tuna In A Can4. Golden Lady5. Piri Piri6. Psychedelic Rhino7. Little Miss Piggy8. Adele9. The Heart of SoulView TracklistingJohn Medeski’s Mad Skillet // Tour DatesNov. 2 – Burnet, TX – UtopiafestNov. 5 – Grand Rapids, MI – Elevation at The IntersectionNov. 6 — Goshen, IN – Ignition GarageNov. 7 – Evanston, IL – SpaceNov. 9 – Cincinnati, OH – Ludlow GarageNov. 10 – Kent, OH – The Kent StageNov. 11 – Buffalo, NY – Buffalo Iron WorksNov. 13 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music HallNov. 14 – Cohoes, NY – Cohoes Music HallNov. 15 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn BowlNov. 16 – Ardmore, PA – Ardmore Music HallNov. 17 – Washington, DC – The HamiltonNov. 18 – Asbury Park, NJ – Asbury LanesView All Tour Dateslast_img

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