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End of the World Party: Just in Case


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Audio CD, September 7, 2004
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End of the World Party: Just in Case + Uninvisible + Friday Afternoon in the Universe
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 7, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B0002QO4B8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,798 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Anonymous Skulls
2. End Of The World Party
3. Reflector
4. Bloody Oil
5. New Planet
6. Mami Gato
7. Shine It
8. Curtis
9. Ice
10. Sasa
11. Midnight Poppies/Crooked Birds
12. Queen Bee

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Premier downtown jazz/funk merchants MMW (John Medeski on keyboards, Billy Martin on drums and Chris Wood on bass) return with a healthy dose of their particular groove, this time teaming up with producer John King of The Dust Brothers, best known for manning the boards for classics like the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique and Beck's Odelay among many others. The album takes the listener on a journey through the MMW universe, from loping funk (Curtis and New Planet) to Latin-tinged workouts (Mami Gato), Eastern-influenced atmospherics (Bloody Oil) to futuristic soundscapes (Anonymous Skulls), all the while sounding like the soundtrack to the best sci-fi/blaxploitation/porn movie you ever heard.

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With each successive album, Medeski Martin & Wood have become harder to pin down. Having long ago transcended their soulful organ-groove basics to enter a more expansive world of snappy beats and backbeats, eerie atmospheric effects, post-lounge riffing, and the occasional jazz overture, they occupy their own category. Produced by the Dust Brothers' John King (Beck's Odelay, the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique), End of the World Party (Just in Case) is an agreeably varied effort, ranging from the spacey effects and Middle Eastern taint of "Bloody Oil" (on which bassist Chris Wood lays down the lumber) to the sassy electric funk of "Sasa" (one of four tracks featuring guitarist Marc Ribot) to the wordless voice effects of the jaunty title track. As ever, John Medeski is equally at home referencing post-bop piano aces like Herbie Hancock, getting down on churning Hammond organ, and making like Stevie Wonder with his "Superstition"-style synth. Unlike some MMW records, this one wastes not: all 12 tracks clock in at around the four- or five-minute mark, and they flow together with consummate ease. --Lloyd Sachs

Customer Reviews

Nice tight grooves and lots of funky jams to keep things interesting.
stikki B
It seems like MMW have released about an album every year for the past several years, which could be arguably good or arguably a mistake.
j.
I highly recommend it to anyone looking to diversify his or her music collection without the tradeoff of listening to terrible music.
Luke Klein

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 38 people found the following review helpful By j. on September 11, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I've always enjoyed and respected Medeski Martin and Wood. The veteran New York trio has always been pushing the musical limits of their sound. Jazz, by nature, is a genre that is founded upon experimentation and an embracing of the unfamiliar. And the fact is, MMW have clearly changed their sound from album to album (from all-out acoustic to Hammond Organ funk) while also maintaining a sense of familiarity.

It seems like MMW have released about an album every year for the past several years, which could be arguably good or arguably a mistake. After all, just because a band is prolific does not necessarily mean that their material is superior. However, this is MMW's finest cd. They've joined with one of the Dust Brothers (as producer), which gives the album a very old-school hip/hop vibe (The Dust Brothers did early beats for the Beastie Boys). BUT, couple this with the funky and soulful organ-drums-piano-bass sound that Medeski Martin and Wood are known for, and you have a very progressive album.

In my humble opinion, past MMW albums have been too unfocused, even for a jam-band. Their lengthy songs and their experimentation, while certainly academic and well-skilled, bordered on muddled and sometimes lost cohesion as they progressed. There were certainly gems to be found on each album, but there were also songs that felt like merely side thoughts. For this album, MMW have cut away some (not all, by any means) of the jamming, giving way to a tigther, crisper sound and ultimately a more accessable album. (They've also cleaned out their closet and used virtually everything in there to make sound effects for the album). Hardcore MMW fans may argue that this album is too poppy or non-experimental (or simply that the songs are too short). But listen closely...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Dill on October 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I ordered this disc about a year ago after hearing Anonymous Skulls for the first time. The song completely floored me... it's like nothing I'd ever heard before.

After a year of constant listening, I still like Skulls, but other songs on the disc have become my favorites. New Planet and Reflector are so damn funky. End of the World Party is so smooth and satisfying. Mami Gato and Ice are just tight, cool grooves.

This disc is in my top 10 of all-time. I rank it right up there with Coolin' Off by Galactic and Tourist by St. Germain.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Redbone on June 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'm reasonably certain that I am one of the oldest fans of MMW -- in terms of age, that is. My first introduction to MMW was a couple of years ago with "Univisible" and I was hooked. Despite being a very respectable album (mind-blowing in some instances), I was nevertheless hoping for a tighter album. I got my wish with End of the World Party! This album is solid. It's amazing. OK, there are a few weak spots: the opening piece (a definite homage to Herbie Hancock with a nod to Danny Elfman. Danny Elfman? Uh-huh); Bloody Oil (a weak retread of the outstanding "Take Me Nowhere" from Uninvisible); and the final cut, "Queen Bee," which I might actually crank up during Carnival. Despite these weaknesses, this album is by far the best I've heard in ages. I keep hoping they'll make it down here to New Orleans for Jazz Fest, but until that day, I'll have to be content with listening to them on plastic. I can't think of a better group to make jazz relevant to today's youth than MMW. They are definitely in the vanguard.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kilgore Trout on October 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
...Which is one of the reasons why I love this album and respect it as another notch in MMW's fat belt. After reading a couple of the other reviewers, I felt the urge to actually review this album as a small defense of the End of the World's compositions... Yeah, it's atonality lives on a miniscule plane compared to compositions from the past. And yeah, the 4/4 beat flows through the entire album... and yeah, songs are a "radio friendly" 4 minute average length. BUT, I must say that this is probably their most thematic album. I am not sure if it was intended, but the whole album has a 60-70 horror/comedy feel, which goes with the album title "End of the World Party... (just in case)". It delighted me with some very haunting but almost comical themes, that I have never heard MMW play the likes of before. It is a departure as many times I forgot that MMW wrote all of these pieces, as the textures they incorporated were not from their past, but at many times reminded by their quirky and signifying characteristics. Yeah, the 4 minute songs confine them a little compared to the free and more recent atonal/experimental works like Tonic(live), The Dropper, Uninvisible, and Farmer's Reserve, but it is in the same sense a step away from what they had been doing within the recent years. Generally this album has an eerie quality that seems to follow a storyline throughout. I love MMW from their hard to nail past, as they have a definitive sound, but extrapolated from differing styles of jazz/funk/hiphop, but this latest achievement opened up another door with some of the haunting rock-fused songs like album conclusion piece "Queen Bee", which reminded me of something derived of Whodunnit horror video game, emitting a movin' rock-felt breakdown... almost hinting to Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein".Read more ›
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