BILLY MARTIN’S WICKED KNEE
Solo project from Medeski, Martin, & Wood’s Billy Martin featuring Curtis Fowlkes, Marcus Rojas + Steven Bernstein
THU DEC 12 / 8PM
Billy Martin, who for the past two decades was the drummer of the genre-busting trio Medeski Martin & Wood, wanted his new project to be something completely different from what his fans are accustomed to hearing from him. With a lineup consisting solely of trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, tuba player Marcus Rojas, trumpeter Steven Bernstein and Martin serving as his own rhythm section, comparisons to anything that have come before are unlikely. Martin calls Wicked Knee “ragtime funk,” that is “cathartic, heart-based and primarily intended for situations that invite people to let go, throw down, get down and have fun.”
Prior to forming Wicked Knee, Martin had worked on several projects with Bernstein, who is highly respected within New York’s downtown scene and beyond, with his groups Sex Mob and the Millennial Territory Orchestra, and as a sideman with a long list of diverse artists ranging from Aretha Franklin and Sting to jazzmen Sam Rivers and Roswell Rudd. Martin had only performed a few times with Rojas—whose credits include his bands Spanish Fly and Les Miserables Brass Band, as well as gigs with Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Queen Latifa and many others—mostly in live performances. Fowlkes, a longtime fixture on the New York scene, who has performed with the Lounge Lizards, the Jazz Passengers, Charlie Haden, John Zorn and others, was the perfect player to round out the lineup.