On Saturday night, John Medeski, John Scofield, Billy Martin, and Chris Wood came together for the second of two nights at Denver’s Ogden Theatre, marking the quartet’s first performances since their headlining performances on this year’s Jam Cruise. The quartet of jazz legends has been celebrating the 20th anniversary of their first collaborative album, A Go Go, which was released on April 7th, 1998, and followed up by 2006’s Out Louder, 2011’s In Case The World Changes Its Mind, and 2014’s Juice.

Prior to Saturday’s performance, as excited fans flocked to the venue for doors, the entire block the Ogden Theatre sits on lost power. With an uncertain and delayed start time, the line outside the venue winded two blocks past the entrance, as fans eagerly and hopefully waited to see the four jazz legends. Right before the clock struck 9, the Ogden Theatre posted via their social media outlets that the doors were opening and the show would start promptly at 9:30, despite an original start time an hour earlier.

For their Saturday performance, Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood offered up a diverse show with both funky, on-your-feet grooves and ambient spacey-jazz, making up for any lost time that the electrical power outage may have caused. The show featured a mixture of repeats from the night prior and material that Denver hasn’t been graced with in quite some time.

The show started with “Boozer” off the quartet’s debut studio album, A Go Go. The jazz masters took this first number deep, with Scofield and Medeski trading off eclectic solos that kept getting higher and higher, as Martin and Wood held down the backbone of the rhythm section like true masters of their trade. The band was feeling loose and limber, and the heavy improvisational jam that followed was just what they needed to settle into the beyond sold-out venue, as Wood led the way on the upright bass. Continuing in the theme of celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut album, “Southern Pacific” came next. With John Scofield leading the way with a twangy guitar intro, the band dropped into a concentrated groove, before John Medeski absolutely stole the show with climactic solos on the Hammond organ.

It was time to mix things up, and the quartet unleashed “Little Walter Rides Again”, off 2006’s Out Louder, with a loud applause of approval from the roaring crowd. The funky feel-good tune led by Billy Martin’s infectious hits behind the kit gave way to a deep exploratory space for Medeski and Scofield to once again mesh the conventional stylistics of jazz, funk, and blues, pushing each other to up the ante as the jam grew. Chris Wood stepped up to the front of the stage with his upright bass standing taller than him and laid down an aggressive solo before Medeski and Scofield slowly landed back in the central theme of the song.

Moving on, Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood offered up their first cover of the night, an upbeat take on Ray Charles’ “I Got A Woman” followed by the avant-garde Medeski, Martin & Wood number, “Partido Alto”. The band brought the first set to a close with A Go Go’s “Jeep on 35”, a composed and relaxed song that allowed the four all-stars to show off their talent as singular, working organism.

Following a brief set break, the four wizards returned for set two with Chris Wood leading the way with a heavy bass groove to start off “Legalize It” off of Out Louder. Appropriate for the Mile High City, Scofield executed some tasty licks before Medeski brought it all home on the organ. Scofield led the quartet into the funk-infused “Chank” before dropping into “A Go Go”, the namesake of the band’s first album together. Starting with a steady Billy Martin beat on the drums, Scofield was firing off on all cylinders, feeling right at home with his three musical brethren he’s been exploring sonic textures with for twenty years now.

“Miles Behind” came next, which was a high-speed journey that, at points, felt like riding a rollercoaster. The avant-garde jazz song gave Martin the freedom to dive into deep sonic explorations on the drums and cowbell, with Medeski tickling away at the keys. Scofield did what he does best, offering up a thoughtful solo to bring it all home. A cover of Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love” followed, which appeared on their 2014 release, Juice. The dubby take on the classic-rock song was seemingly appropriate given the “Legalize It” that started off set two and allowed Medeski to take full reigns and shine.

Medeski, Martin & Wood’s “Fuck You Guys” brought the second set to a close, another structured and composed tune that allowed the musical monsters one last time to exhibit their extreme cohesiveness. Coming back for an encore, John Scofield proclaimed that they would play one last tune off of their debut studio album, treating fans to “Green Tea”, a smooth and tasty treat to end such a high-energy show.

Setlist: Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood | Ogden Theatre | Denver, CO | 3/31/2018

Set 1: Boozer> Improv> Southern Pacific, Little Walter Rides Again, I Got A Woman>Partido Alto, Jeep On 35

Set 2: Legalize It, Chank> A Go Go, Miles Behind, Sunshine Of Your Love, Fuck You Guys

Encore: Green Tea