Various Artists

Strange Chemistry: The Tribute to Medeski, Martin & Wood

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Strange Chemistry: A Tribute to Medeski, Martin & Wood features reworked versions of ten songs from the catalog of the New York City alternative jazz trio. MMW do not appear anywhere within it. Instead, Bug Funny Foundation and the Galactic Achievement Society contribute five performances each, concentrating on MMW material from the 1995 breakthrough Friday Afternoon in the Universe through 2000's The Dropper. The arrangements vary from a straightforward read of "Sugar Craft" to the outlandish electronica workouts of "Last Chance to Dance Trance (Perhaps)" and "Coconut Boogaloo." Strange Chemistry's liner notes promise the collection "create[s] a technical revolution that will take listeners to the outer limits." This is an overstatement. In reality, it is a tribute album that tries too hard about half the time. At best, the album is a curio for aficionados of the trio, or a guidepost for other would-be MMW tribute bands.

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