I was sick last week so I didn't get out that much. Still, I have to smile when I think about how great, uh, spectacular those few shows were. I can't complain.
I got a seat right behind Medeski, which was awesome. Everything he did was blown away amazing. I'm having trouble remembering details, but I think he played every note on the piano. There was one part where he was jamming on the high notes that was killer. I would see him do that again in a great band .
I think he played a melodica or that other thing that is similar. That memory is blending in with many times I've seen him, so I'm not quite sure.
I know he played the sruti. I got to see it super close up for the first time. I went to great pains to try to figure out what it was called on the internet. I hadn't succeeded yet when I saw the guy I was sitting next to the next night. He had asked John the name and gave it to me. I found some interesting info about free reed aerophones with bellows and a bunch of other instruments that I'm sharing here.
The sruti is really cool. Its got a drone sound and I could see how he could change it by moving the keys. He often was playing the piano at the same time. Here's a demo.
There were some grooving parts of course. The last one was a familiar emotion-evoking piece reminiscent of The Bad Plus. It was all beautiful. I think every emotion was evoked from one time to another throughout the set.
He paused in between pieces. I seem to recall it being a long set, I think 75-90 minutes. Of course, its all blending by now. I put most of my efforts into finding the sruti instead of writing it up asap, so I forgot a lot by now.
I also found this piece about Medeski and the melodica that I haven't read yet: