The ever busy John Medeski is about to get a little busier. Already busy touring with Medeski, Martin & Wood and playing with his New York outfit Emergency, with John Zorn and Marc Ribot, organ grinder Mr. Medeski is about to emabark on another project. On March 3rd, a new crew called UM, will play at Brown University in Providence RI, with other dates possibly on the horizon. The band, including Medeski on organ, his old friends bassist Dave Zinno on bass and Bob Gullotti on drums (Michael Ray & The Cosmic Crew, Surrender to the Air, The Fringe), Rick Peckham on guitar, and techno-trombonist Hal Crook, have played together before, at AS220, a small club in Providence. Over a year ago, UM recorded a live album at the club for release on Medeski's Rope-a-Dope record label, which spun out the first DJ Logic album.

At the Brown show, a four song EP from that album will be available, and the whole album is due out in early April. The music is from the vast book of tunes of Crook, who is a trombone master, playing aside the likes of jazz legend Bob Brookmeyer and many others. Attached to his horn, are a variety of guitar effects that can create a diverse range of sounds, from traditional trombone to the sound of an entire orchestra. Crook can sometimes coordinate up to 7 or 8 loops simultaneously, something that really has to be seen to be believed. The remainder of the group plays every tuesday in Providence, but the addtion of Medeski fits like a glove. The songs jam out hard, usually letting everyone strutt their stuff. It's very psychedelic with a bit of the funk mixed in. So check out UM on the 3rd if your around and more may be on the way, possible cities include Boston, Vermont, New York, and Philly. Stay tuned...

Drew Gullotti

[Published on: 2/14/01]

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