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Medeski Brings 'A Different Time' to Life

May 21, 2013

Artists reflect the unspoken needs of the viewers, readers and listeners. With A Different Time, pianist John Medeski takes us to that quiet, meditative place that is often out of reach given our frantic lives. Perhaps the age of the piano on which Medeski recorded the pieces has something to do with the classic, contemplative sound of A Different Time. The piano was built by the Gaveau piano manufacturers in central France in 1924. It was constructed in a style that predates the modern piano. According to John Medeski in his liner notes: The Gaveau responds to a more delicate, nuanced touch, requiring the player’s full attention in every moment to control the sound. One must sing with the fingers.

A Different Time is a more introspective, meditative collection than fans of MMW’s lively, groove-driven music might expect. Consisting mostly of Medeski’s own compositions and improvisations, with a familiar spiritual and a Willie Nelson song added into the mix, the album presents a different side of Medeski’s prodigious artistry.
Credit johnmedeski.com

Medeski’s fingers serenade with a cantor’s grace though out the 40 minutes of A Different Time. The listening experience took me back to the 1960s when I first discovered Eric Satie’s gymnopedies and the pure depth of Chopin nocturnes. We have come to love John Medeski’s funk grooves with Medeski, Martin and Wood, but this recording gives a glimpse in to his understanding of classical music and ethnic folk melodies. Luz Marina and Otis are just two of the songs that transcend time, geographic boundaries and category. The very essence of Bill Evans permeates A Different Time as well. Evans possessed an extraordinary piano technique and a mind for melodies at once familiar and freshly conceived. John Medeski has the gift, too. Give yourself a gift. Give yourself a forty minute break in to music of today that feels connected to yesterday in a very comforting way. Make time for A Different Time.