Call me square, but I'd never seen Medeski Martin and Wood before last night's packed Celebrate Brooklyn gig, part of this year's JVC Jazz Festival. (Well, not together, anyway.) Famous for their years on the haze-filled college and jam band circuits, these guys are actually bad ass jazz players that just happen to have found an infectious groove. At different points of their set, I heard Trance, Swamp, Blues, even Middle Eastern. John Medeski on organ and keys is the linchpin of the whole thing; Billy Martin and Chris Wood lay down the floor on drums and bass, respectively. Folks of all ages were groovin' everywhere I looked.
The show opened with Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog, which floated between Free, Funk, and spaced-out Rock. Ribot played was joined by Ches Smith on drums, and Shahzad Ismaily (also of Two Foot Yard) on Moog, bass and electronics. A beautiful night, and a great start to the CB season. (More pics after the jump.)