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End of the World Party: Just in Case

Medeski Martin & WoodAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

Price: $12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2004 $9.49  
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Vinyl, 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 (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,173 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

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

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shorter Songs Equals a Greater Good September 11, 2004
By j.
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginning of the World Party! June 20, 2005
By Redbone
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected... 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just another excuse to trance dance, perhaps September 29, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Mmm. Already I like this better than Uninvisible. I don't like to use the expression "break new ground" with MMW as I think their retro-future-funk sound is too grounded in a well-oiled groove to be considered on the fringes of truly progressive music. But tracks like Anonymous Skulls, Bloody Oil, and New Planet definitely display the expansion of pallette that is to be hoped for with these insane musical communicators. And then there are other tracks like Shine It which bear an almost too-close resemblance to previous outings (in this case Note Bleu, which it could easily be without the extra transitional bars thrown in). But that is me speaking as someone who has listened to far too much MMW. The sexy details that punctuated Uninvisible but were let down by flat tracks that refused to grow are amplified here by well-rounded nuggets of groove that, even if sometimes derivative of the past, never sound stale. All in all a solid outing, thank you boys, and kudos to John King - you really know how to make the stars shine.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars recorded late at night?
This is certainly an eclectic, interesting album by MMW, with lots of good ideas swirling around. Love the idea of having Ribot sit in, too. Read more
Published on August 25, 2011 by Walter in Austin
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent
You notice over the last five MMW albums that they are not sking down jazz slopes, as in the 1990s, but ice skating on flat surfaces. Nothing wrong with that. Read more
Published on November 21, 2009 by Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ
5.0 out of 5 stars my personal favorite
After listening to MMW for about 10 years and now with the recent releases of the "Book of Angels" CD and the 2 "Radiolarians" CD's, I have come to the conclusion that this is my... Read more
Published on June 15, 2009 by Ben Moore
4.0 out of 5 stars A smart celebration
Even if these Jazz-hip-hoppers can be relegated at times to a dismissive jam-band background category in the way they play, if the eclectic trio does anything right, and they do it... Read more
Published on October 14, 2008 by IRate
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh so catchy
As a long time fan of MMW, I have been disappointed with some of their post-Combustication work, but this CD has certainly revived my love of their funky hooks and fusion jazz. Read more
Published on July 3, 2008 by Carl N. Bloom
5.0 out of 5 stars A psychedelic jazz masterpiece
Jazz purists probably hate this album. However, I think it is a masterpiece. Imagine a funky "In A Silent Way" by Miles Davis cut up in 4 minute snippets with some psychedelia... Read more
Published on October 13, 2007 by Clarke C. Hayes
3.0 out of 5 stars Funky atmospheric jazz
Having heard snippets of M&WM before I was intrigued by their sound but not enough to shell out for a disc. Read more
Published on April 17, 2007 by Enrique Torres
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Chill Music
This is possibly one of the greatest cd's to turn on and enjoy the music while studying or just having friends over. I thoroughly enjoy this album.
Published on July 3, 2006 by C. Meyer
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing
Very interesting, a bit of a departure from the other albums they have. It is getting hard to put a label on their music, but thats what makes it so good. Read more
Published on May 9, 2006 by Leo Kupps
5.0 out of 5 stars Every album just gets better
MMW are a band that I feel epitomizes what a band should do: Get better with each album. This installment into their already stellar catalogue is one of great proportion. Read more
Published on March 8, 2006 by Voodoo Soup 9000
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