Hearing Aide: John Medeski’s ‘A Different Time’
As a member of the avant-garde jazz trio, Medeski Martin & Wood, John Medeski’s experience as a musician is largely defined by his groove-based keyboard work. Originating in New York City, MMW has stood out as one of jazz’s most talented, innovative acts over the past twenty years. The group’s discography represents a range in style and genre achieved by incredible musicianship, and John Medeski’s influence as a keyboardist has made MMW’s work so consistently creative.
A Different Time marks Medeski’s debut appearance as a solo recording artist. Released by Okeh Records, a recently revived jazz imprint on Sony Masterworks, the album features the unequivocal combination of Medeski and a 1924 Gaveau piano. A Different Time is the product of a season spent in Upstate New York’s Hudson Valley, where Medeski recorded the album in a 19th-century church-turned recording studio known as Waterfront Studios. Throughout the album’s nine tracks, Medeski explores a style of music characteristic of an earlier, more modestly ambitious time period.
Medeski has described the album as “meditative” and “contemplative.” In its opening, self-titled track, sparse melodies and alluring structures induce a sense of calm while provoking a level of insight generally brought about by weighty lyricism. Medeski’s work communicates sentiments in its composition; A Different Time is a compilation of poetic music. Concluding with two improvised tracks, “Lacrima” and “Otis,” the album is a clear illustration of Medeski’s talent, a progression in his career as a musician.
Key Tracks: A Different Time, I’m Falling In Love Again, Lacrima