The official website of Accurate Records,
New England's premier jazz label since 1987.

To order Accurate CDs:
   Allegro Music

Medeski Martin & Wood
Notes from the Underground (AC-5010, released 1992)

The first album by Medeski Martin & Wood shows the trio in a formative stage, with John Medeski featured only on grand piano, and Chris Wood only on acoustic bass.  With their jazz influences showing more clearly than on later recordings, the trio, rounded out by drummer Billy Martin, is joined by a four piece horn section on some tunes.


While the Accurate edition of Notes  is now out of print, the story is worth telling.


In 1988, Medeski joined Accurate Records chief Russ Gershon's Either/Orchestra and spent two busy years of touring and recording with the band.  This work can be heard on The Half-Life of Desire - recorded at Rudy van Gelder Studios where Medeski played the actual Hammond B-3 that Jimmy Smith, Larry Young and others used in many important recordings – the Grammy-nominated Calculus of Pleasure, and Across the Omniverse.


Around the same time, Gershon was subbing as leader of jazz legend Jimmy Giuffre's student ensemble at the New England Conservatory, when he spotted a talented 18 year old bassist from Boulder Colorado - Chris Wood.  Shortly afterward, Gershon was asked by trumpeter Bob Merrill to assemble a combo for a show at Cambridge's Middle East Restaurant.  Merrill had been booked by his grade school classmate Billy Ruane, who by this time was well on his way to becoming a legendary scenemaker and promoter around Boston.


The band Gershon put together included Medeski and Wood, who had never met before.  The rest, as the cliché would have it, is history.  Within the next couple of years, the two were sharing an apartment in New York's East Village and joining forces with drummer Billy Martin to create Medeski Martin & Wood.  But they weren't through with Gershon yet.


In 1992, as the trio was finishing up their first recording, Gershon attempted to convince them to let him put out the album on Accurate.  While they were determined to initiate their own label with this recording, Gershon did suggest the title "Notes from the Underground," after Dostoyevsky. 


Without distribution or prior experience, MM&W didn't make much commercial hay with Notes, although it got great reviews and helped them land a deal with Grammavision, a New York indy label that was soon bought by Rykodisk.  After their next album, It's a Jungle in Here, came out in 1993, their star was on the rise.  In 1995, as the followup Friday Afternoon in the Universe was being prepared, they decided to work with Accurate to reissue Notes, which was handled by Accurate until 2002 and sold quite well.


Collectors: we do have a limited number of copies of the Accurate edition on hand.  Please contact us directly if you are interested.