Medeski Martin & Wood

Note Bleu: Best of the Blue Note Years 1998-2005

Medeski Martin & Wood, the groundbreaking improvisational jazz trio, has released a compilation of its best stuff, spanning five albums recorded on the Blue Note label. The Note Bleu single-disc release features 15 tracks, while the pimped-out Deluxe Edition features an additional three tracks, as well as a bonus DVD with three music videos, live concert footage, band documentaries and two photo galleries that’ll put a smile on the face of any MMW aficionado. A good overview of MMW’s versatility, the disc spans seven years of the New York trio’s meandering path of jazz infused with hip-hop and funk—moving from electronic grooves to solely acoustic pieces. A cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe,” featured on the live acoustic disc Tonic, is a great display of the quiet might that is MMW, while “Sugar Craft” from Combustication shows off the group’s dance floor groove with DJ Logic on turntables. The horn-heavy Uninvisible and the synth-heavy End of the World Party (Just in Case) records are also sampled. This is a good mix of songs from the modern masters of psychedelic improv space jazz for the newbie to the world of MMW, or the devoted fan.