Entertainment Weekly (8/14/98, p.81) - "...their latest recording hums with their retro-futurist style, recalling '70s soul-jazz, Sun Ra, and their own arty-party savvy. Keyboardist John Medeski cooks up more of his wondrously strange textures, and his rhythm pals do seductive business..." - Rating: B
Vibe (6-7/98, p.181) - "...Long after many neofunksters have surrendered the flag and moved on to less demanding territory, MMW continue to find fresh ground in the cosmic slop."
Medeski Martin & Wood: John Medeski, Billy Martin, Chris Wood.
Additional personnel includes: DJ Logic, Steve Cannon.
At their collective core, Medeski, Martin & Wood are simply the most popular keepers of the organ trio flame in modern jazz. But this trio of downtowners is willing to piece together straight-no-chasers of all forms to get the party moving. COMBUSTICATIONS, their fourth album, does all that with a jazzy heart, some funky intestines, a set of salsa hips and a DJ on the brain.
As with previous MMW albums, funky jazz is COMBUSTICATIONS' focus--whether it's smoky, mid-tempo hipsway ("Just Like I Pictured it") or churchy balladry (a gospel-tinged rendition of Sly Stone's "Everyday People"). But the width of the trio's scope is best exemplified by the polar contributions of the album's guests. Turntablist DJ Logic appears on the three tracks that prophesy a hip-hop-jazz future, particularly on "Church of Logic," where he builds a soundscape and then solos over the band. Contrast that with "Whatever Happened To Gus," on which East Village art dealer Steve Cannon does a Beat-derived dream monologue about old school jazz drummer Gus Johnson, while the band does a free-form freak-out behind him.