All three volumes of Medeski, Martin & Wood's Radiolarians series were reportedly to be recorded and released in 2008. Only the first volume appeared, but it provided a solid clue to both the formula and the wild adventurousness that the series would embody. Radiolarians III is the final volume in the series. What inspired it was a formula, pure and simple, a reversal of what is usually the case for a band to follow. Rather than write new material, then record it and tour, the trio reversed the process. They went out and toured incessantly, improvised and wrote new material on the road, gave it real form and focus, and then, finally, recorded it. This volume is as delightful as its predecessors, and offers inarguable proof that after 18 years, MM&W are still discovering new ways to stretch the jazz trio format, finding new music to integrate, spindle, warp, re-form, and refresh, without sacrificing it to endless synthetic edits and samples. In essence, they remain a live trio, and virtually everything they play comes out that way on record. This set was recorded in three days. The meld of jazz, vanguard classical music, gospel, rock, funk, New Orleans stride and second line, country, blues, modal music, Indian classical, and other world folk forms is simply staggering, and it is seamless -- even when the music gets the party rockin'.
/ Review continues: http://www.allmusic.com/album/radiolarians-iii-mw0000822504