Happy Birthday John Medeski: Watch Medeski Martin & Wood Perform On ‘Morning Becomes Eclectic’ In 2005

See MMW perform songs from their latest album at the time 'End Of The World Party (Just In Case)' and more.

By Nate Todd Jun 28, 2022 12:19 pm PDT

Today marks virtuosic keyboardist John Medeski’s 57th birthday. Born Anthony John Medeski on June 28, 1965 in Louisville, Kentucky, John grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He began taking piano lessons at an early age and before his teenage years were through, Medeski counted renowned jazz musicians like Jaco Pastorius among his collaborators.

John went on to form Medeski Martin & Wood in 1991 with drummer Billy Martin and bassist Chris Wood. The lauded trio got their start playing at the famed New York City jazz club the Village Gate. While MMW’s 1992 debut album, Notes From The Underground, contained a fairly traditional jazz piano/bass/drums trio aesthetic, with Medeski adding electric piano, organ, Clavinet and various synths to his arsenal the band began to explore free-form jazz, funk, electronic and hip-hop sounds with their subsequent albums It’s A Jungle In Here (1993), Friday Afternoon in the Universe (1995) and Shack-man (1996).

On October 14, 1995, MMW performed with Phish, giving them exposure in the burgeoning jam scene. A couple years later, MMW began their longtime collaboration with jam-adjacent jazz guitarist John Scofield, backing him on the 1997 album A Go Go. The band signed with the legendary Blue Note Records in 1998 and released a run of outstanding albums in the late ‘90s and early-2000s on the label including Combustication, The Dropper, Uninvisible and End Of The World Party, the latter arriving in 2004.

On October 18, 2005, MMW stopped by KCRW studios in Los Angeles to perform on the college radio station’s renowned Morning Become Eclectic program. The trio got their five-song set underway with Medeski working the organ and Clav on the intro to the groovy “Shackman.” The band also delivered “Tubby” and an instrumental cover of PJ Harvey’s “The Letter” ahead of an interview segment where they talked about their latest album at the time, the aforementioned End Of The World Party (Just In Case) and more. They wrap up the session with two cuts from that LP, the title track and “Shine It.”

To celebrate John Medeski’s birthday today, watch MMW perform on Morning Becomes Eclectic in 2005 below:

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Medeski Martin & Wood (See 189 videos)

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Setlist (via MMWHistory.com)

Set: Shackman, Improv > Tubby, The Letter, End Of The World Party, Shine It

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