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A little bit of everything

Medeski Martin and Wood return

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Medeski Martin and Wood will find themselves in two very different types of settings during their trip through Colorado this month. The show June 28 at 32 Bleu in Colorado Springs, of course, will be a headlining club date with a full-length set. But when the group opens for 311 and The Roots at Red Rocks on June 26, Medeski Martin and Wood will only have about 40 minutes of stage time.

Both settings will suit keyboardist John Medeski fine.

"We've always enjoyed the variety because you do a different kind of thing," he said. "There's a different sort of focus that has to happen when there's a bigger audience. When you play in a smaller place, it's definitely easier for the audience to follow you on some kind of real, truly new journey. Bigger places: We tend to have a bigger skeleton of ideas that we can do. But you never know."

Fans who come out for either show may very well get a preview of the new Medeski Martin and Wood CD called End Of The World Party (Just In Case). The CD -- the 10th by the New York City-based trio -- arrives in stores in September. Produced by John King of the Dust Brothers, it is perhaps the group's most stripped down, groove-oriented work to date, with Medeski using an arsenal of different keyboards to concoct coolly enticing, sometimes spacey melodies over the lean and propulsive drumming of Billy Martin's and Chris Wood's funky, yet flowing bass lines.

Though King has become known for his inventive use of sampling and loops, there aren't many machine-made techno/hip-hop elements on End Of The World Party (Just In Case).

"There's a little bit of everything going on, but I felt like he really found a certain essence of what we do, which is about taking a groove and developing it as opposed to just repeating it," Medeski said.

"There are only like a couple of tunes that have a couple of loops," he said. "But everything else is played [live]."

-- Alan Sculley

capsule

Medeski Martin and Wood

32 Bleu, 32 S. Tejon St.

Monday, June 28 at 8 p.m.

$20 advance; $25 day of show

All ages

955-5664 or www.32Bleu.com

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