John Medeski

Lunar Crush

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In a break from Medeski, Martin & Wood, retro keyboardist John Medeski gets co-billing with free-thinking guitarist David Fiuczynski in a freestyle dive into a maelstrom of funk, hip-hop, jazz, and rock that grooves all the way down to the last laser pit. Medeski works out on an electronically modified Wurlitzer electric piano and a B-3 organ, playing in a funky, depth-charged, jagged style while Fiuczynski is forever chopping up the lines, streaking around the keyboards, emulating Hendrix or earlier, straighter blues guitarists. Fiuczynski's band, the Screaming Headless Torsos, provides a series of tough grooves as unyielding as its name, and Michelle Johnson's weird vocals on "Pacifica" and "Lillies That Fester..." seem to come right out of a creepy alternative rock station. The musicians these guys have absorbed would fill an encyclopedia -- to cite a few possible sources, jungle-band Miles, the first Tony Williams Lifetime, hip-hop, M-Base -- yet they manage to convert everything into a zesty, complex yet exuberant mix all their own. If you're of an electric frame of mind, check it out.

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