Reviews that mention Marc Ribot

October 1, 2018

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

YRU Still Here?
NorthernSpy NS 098


Derek Plays Eric

Jazz Werkstatt JW 188

Seemingly revisiting their roots, improvising guitarists Marc Ribot of the US and Andreas Willers of Germany, attempt to graft more complicated textures onto the uncomplicated styles with which they began their careers – Willers as a Blues-Rocker and Ribot as a Folk-Rocker. Sticking close to the Power Trio configuration of guitar, bass and drums – plus some add-ons on Ribot’s CD – the power and fury is in evident, but whether musical complexity can change the concepts is open to discussion. MORE

July 11, 2018

Gregory Lewis

Organ Monk Blue
No Label No #

One of the most persistent knocks about so-called Modern Jazz going back to the birth of Bebop in the 1940s was that it was too complicated and divorced from the good time sounds of most people. It was this hoary shibboleth that was cited as the cause for the rise of Soul Jazz in the 1960s was audiences supposedly tuned away from the convoluted near-abstraction of Energy Music and even Bop to groove along with simple tunes played by rhythmic organ trios and the like.

On his most recent CD organist Gregory Lewis has tuned that idea on its head. On a program of all tunes by Thelonious Monk, who as the High Priest of Bebop was blamed for first coming up with weird music, Lewis has found the populism common to all of them. With the help of long-time drummer Jeremy Bean Clemons and guitarist Marc Ribot, whose associates have ranged from Brother Jack McDuff to John Zorn, he’s come out with a greasy, swinging session that could easily take its place alongside discs by Groove Holmes, Jimmy Smith and the like. Playing off the bedrock Blues implicit part of the DNA of Monk tune, he manages to also highlight the technical sophistication there as well. MORE

October 11, 2017

Elliott Sharp with Mary Halvorson and Marc Ribot

ERR Guitar
Intakt CD 281

By Ken Waxman

Composer, bandleader, multi-instrumentalist, Elliott Sharp is musician hard to classify with equal proficiency in blues-rock, improvisation and New music. Here he concentrates on his main instrument, the guitar, on a dozen solos, duos and trio with fellow pickers Mary Halvorson and Marc Ribot. Oddly enough, Sharp and Ribot, who specialize in more agitated sounds, both turn almost folksy in duets on “Wobbly”, “Sinistre” and “Oronym”. Although their chess game-like moves are both subtle and spiky on “Sinistre”, it’s the last track which is most distinctive. Here one guitarist’s legato finger-picking tries to surmount the other’s canine yapping-like plucked onslaughts until relaxed string undulations are replaced by a multiplicity of crying buzzes. Blanketing drones dominate the three Halvorson duets, with the strokes on “Shredding Light”so thin they break into electronic flanges. Slurred fingering and guitar neck taps enliven both parts of “Sequola”, although a blanket of buzzes can’t disguise intricate dual connections. MORE

January 7, 2017

Festival Report

By Ken Waxman

Appropriately the mid-point of Festival Jazzdor’s second week was November 11, when ceremonies honor soldiers who died during both world wars. Reflecting music’s universality though, Strasbourg’s Jazzdor presented several concerts in nearby Offenburg, Germany throughout the festival. This is despite the fact that Strasbourg, a French city of unique Alsatian meals and mixed French and German architecture, atmosphere and street signs, is in a region conquered by Germany from 1870-1917 and 1940-1944. MORE

August 21, 2016

Krakauer’s Ancestral Groove

Table Pounding Records TPR -003

Dobrek Bistro

Featuring David Krakauer

Dobrecords 006

Forty-odd years after enthusiasm for pre-Holocaust Eastern European Jewish music led to the so-called Klezmer Revival, its characteristics have seeped into other genres, while the traditional sound itself has mutated. Like folk songs, country Blues and reggae, Klezmer tropes have insinuated themselves into many non-Klez, non-Jewish musical projects. At the same time, like speculative researchers unsatisfied with the status quo in any field, some of the more sophisticated Klezmer practitioners have moved beyond emulation and re-creation to bring alien sonic strains onto the body of Klezmer works. MORE

April 7, 2016

Artist Feature

Chad Taylor
By Ken Waxman

Modestly drummer Chad Taylor declares: “Being a band leader is a lot of work and effort for me. Some people have a natural gift for leading a band, but I’m not one of them.” Still the Brooklyn-based percussionist works as often as most leaders. For a start the Windy City-raised Taylor, 43, is, with cornetist Rob Mazurek, one half of the Chicago Underground Duo (CUD) plus the CU’s other iterations. He’s also one-third of Digital Primitives with multi-instrumentalist Cooper-Moore and saxophonist Assif Tsahar, and locally can be found gigging with everyone from Marc Ribot to Steve Swell. Plus he still plays, usually overseas, with his Chicago hommies. “I really enjoy working with people with the goal of creating a language regardless of what style it is,” he affirms. MORE

March 22, 2016

Guelph Jazz Festival

Guelph, Ontario
September 16-20, 2015

By Ken Waxman

Story telling of the verbal and instrumental variety was an important feature of this year’s Guelph Jazz Festival. Trying out new venues such as Heritage Hall (HH), Guelph’s first black church; and the soft-seated Guelph Little Theatre (GLT), the festival added a feeling of intimacy to its innovative programming.

Front and centre with tales, tall and otherwise were two Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM) members, multi-reedist Douglas Ewart and alto saxophonist Matana Roberts. Confirming the old adage that actions can speak louder than words were musicians as cerebrally intricate as Evan Parker’s soprano saxophone forays or as raucous as guitarist Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog trio. MORE

October 11, 2014

Artist Feature

Ches Smith
By Ken Waxman

To exaggerate a bit, it appears that there was never a time in his life that Ches Smith wasn’t playing drums. Even today at 40, the Brooklyn-based percussionist seems to rarely move from behind his kit. Besides leading his own groups, which include the These Arches quintet, a couple of trios and his Good for Cows duo with bassist Devin Hoff, Smith is kept busy as a sideman in bands led by among others Tim Berne, Marc Ribot and Mary Halvorson, plus indie-rock stalwarts such as Xiu Xiu and Secret Chiefs 3. There’s also his Congs for Brums solo percussion project; and he can sometime be found in NYC’s outskirts participating in extended vodou drum ceremonies. MORE

September 21, 2014

Marc Ribot Trio

Live at the Village Vanguard
Pi Recordings 53

While there’s a bit of disengagement involved in imaging that this salute to the Albert Ayler and John Coltrane by a guitar trio was recorded at the temple of Jazz restraint – New York’s Village Vanguard – the high quality of the sounds surmounts puzzlement.

Back in the 1960s the tenor saxophone pioneers actually did gig at the Vanguard and even recorded an LP there. As a matter of fact the trio’s bassist Henry Grimes, in his first go-round in the Jazz spotlight, was featured on that Ayler disc. Authenticity aside, the focus on the set here – two Coltrane lines; two by Ayler; and two standards – is on the capabilities of the whole trio. Someone whose tasty timing and supportive percussion strategy has made him a valuable asset to bands as different as the Chicago Underground, Triptych Myth and Fred Anderson’s combos, Chad Taylor is a percussionist for every groove. Guitarist Marc Ribot is equivalently versatile, having played with leaders running the gamut from Tom Waits and John Zorn to Diana Krall and Neko Case. MORE

November 14, 2005


Spiritual Unity
Pi Recordings PI15

Taking any part of Albert Ayler’s oeuvre as a starting point for improvisation demands courage and nerve, since most of the saxophonist’s lines are as inextricably linked with his treatment of them as Thelonious Monk’s compositions were with his playing. Performing Ayler heads without a saxophonist is even more of a challenge, since the late Clevelander wrote lines that sit most comfortably under a reedist’s fingers. But the four members of the Spiritual Unity aggregation do this and more. MORE