Marc Ribot's highly anticipated debut as a leader in a band with Henry Grimes on bass and Chad Taylor on drums, performing at the iconic Village Vanguard, with material including Albert Ayler, John Coltrane, &c.
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Label: Pi Recordings
Catalog ID: PI 53CD
Squidco Product Code: 18975
Recorded on June 30th, 2012, at the Village Vanguard, New York, by Bill Mulvey.
Henry Grimes-bass, violin
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1. Dearly Beloved 15:07
2. The Wizard 8:00
3. Old Man River 6:37
4. Bells 19:09
5. I'm Confessin' (That I Love You) 8:13
6. Sun Ship 7:16
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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sample the album:
"Live at the Village Vanguard captures guitarist Marc Ribot with his trio, featuring bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Chad Taylor, in an electrically-charged 2012 set at the Greenwich Village club. It was Ribot's debut as a leader at the iconic venue - he had appeared there only once before, backing the singer/pianist/composer Allen Toussaint - and his engagement came as a surprise to many, seeming to run counter to the club's usual inclination towards a jazz mainstream. The room was packed for much of the six-night run, filled with people who might have been curious to see what transgression Ribot would bring to bear. The occasion was also special because it marked the first appearance by Henry Grimes at The Vanguard since December 18, 1966 when he performed with the saxophonist Albert Ayler, which was recorded and subsequently released on the landmark album Albert Ayler In Greenwich Village (Impulse! 1967). Grimes mysteriously disappeared soon thereafter. His subsequent re-emergence on the jazz scene in 2003 after a 35-year absence - with all of his performing faculties intact - is testament to the power of music and the human spirit.
Ayler, whose unusual compositional sense and improvisational urgency Ribot has long looked to for inspiration, also serves as the band's touchstone. The trio is an offshoot of Spiritual Unity, a band that Ribot formed in 2004 to play the music of Ayler with the recently re-surfaced Grimes. Ribot had covered Ayler tunes many times before, including on his albums Shrek (1994), Don't Blame Me (1995), and most spectacularly on Saints (Atlantic, 2001). But with Grimes, Ribot was able to reach back in time to connect with Ayler in a way that he could never have dreamed of. Spiritual Unity - which also featured trumpeter Roy Campbell, who sadly passed away earlier this year - released an eponymously -named album in 2005 (Pi Recordings).
Over the band's almost ten years in existence, Ribot, Grimes and Taylor have expanded their repertoire to include - somewhat surprisingly - ballads from the great American song book. On Live at the Village Vanguard, they cover "Old Man River" and "I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)" with a hushed sensitivity. They have also added tracks from the John Coltrane album Sun Ship, a natural extension given the influence Ayler clearly had on Coltrane's playing during that period. In fact, Ayler's signing to Impulse Records was at the urging of Coltrane, who, in an interesting twist, was actually in the audience at The Vanguard for the Ayler recording, the night of Grimes's final appearance at the club. The trio shows its true mettle on the Coltrane and Ayler tracks, showcasing their interplay and transforming the music constantly with seeming telepathy. It's true group improvisation, letting Ayler and Coltrane act as guideposts, but stretching every which way, only occasionally snapping back. Chad Taylor describes their ethos as "a process, a ritual that dictates the form and flow of the music. It's a sequence of events that are related to one another not by their changes, form or key, but by the feelings, forces and energy that they share."
Ribot, whose unmistakable sound is sought after by musicians of all stripes - from Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, John Zorn, T Bone Burnett, Susana Baca, Neko Case, Diana Krall... the list goes on - astounds with his playing, spinning one frenetic, snarling solo after another. It's not a sound that one would typically hear from a "jazz" guitarist: Ribot has often said that he's just as interested in emulating Ayler's saxophone playing, much as guitarist Sonny Sharrock professed his desire to sound like Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders. Taylor says of Ribot: "Marc is a force of nature. He never runs out of ideas and his creativity is boundless. When I play with Marc I never have to ask myself 'what's happening now?' There is an intent and purpose with every note he plays."
The trio, though, is a true collective: it's never quite clear who exactly is leading whom; anything that any one plays can seemingly head them all in a different direction. Taylor, in particular, plays with extraordinary sensitivity. His breadth of experience playing with everyone from Fred Anderson and the Velvet Lounge scene in Chicago, Iron and Wine, and The Swell Season in addition to co-leading Chicago Underground with Rob Mazurek and leading his own band Circle Down allows him to handle anything that Ribot throws his way.
Ribot speaks often of the special role that Grimes brings to the trio, calling his playing "somewhere in between a traditional, supportive bass function and a counterpoint / soloing function." His pizzicato tends towards a low, textural rumble while his arco on bass and violin utilizes slurs and slides, often with overtone effects. And just when you think you get what he's about, Grimes will surprise you and play with a deep sense swing, just like he did so many years ago when he played with people like Sonny Rollins, Roy Haynes and Billy Taylor. According to Chad Taylor, "Henry plays in the past, present and future simultaneously. There is something very spiritual about his playing that is hard to articulate. He has very big ears. He hears everything."
The Village Vanguard run by the Marc Ribot Trio was selected by critic Nate Chinen of the New York Times as one of his best concerts of 2012, saying "The feverish clarity of the music, and its special resonance in that room, exerted a physical power." This recording puts you right there, at the foot of the stage, in a room steeped in the aura of history as the band's collective intuition and extrasensory attunement magically unfold before you."-Pi Recordings
• Show Bio for Marc Ribot
"Marc Ribot (pronounced REE-bow) was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1954. As a teen, he played guitar in various garage bands while studying with his mentor, Haitian classical guitarist and composer Frantz Casseus. After moving to New York City in 1978, Ribot was a member of the soul/punk Realtones, and from 1984 - 1989, of John Lurie's Lounge Lizards. Between 1979 and 1985, Ribot also worked as a side musician with Brother Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Chuck Berry, and many others.
Rolling Stone points out that "Guitarist Marc Ribot helped Tom Waits refine a new, weird Americana on 1985's "Rain Dogs", and since then he's become the go-to guitar guy for all kinds of roots-music adventurers: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp." Additional recording credits include Soloman Burke, Neko Case, Diana Krall, Beth Orton, Marianne Faithful, Arto Lindsay, Caetano Veloso, Laurie Anderson, Susana Baca, McCoy Tyner, The Jazz Passengers, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Cibo Matto, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, James Carter, Vinicio Capposella (Italy), Auktyon (Russia), Vinicius Cantuaria, Sierra Maestra (Cuba), Alain Bashung (France), Marisa Monte, Allen Ginsburg, Madeleine Peyroux, Sam Phillips, and more recently Joe Henry, Allen Toussaint, Norah Jones, Akiko Yano, The Black Keys, Jeff Bridges, Jolie Holland, Elton John/Leon Russell and many others. Ribot frequently collaborates with producer T Bone Burnett, most notably on Alison Krauss and Robert Plant's Grammy Award winning "Raising Sand" and regularly works with composer John Zorn.
Marc has released over 20 albums under his own name over a 35-year career, exploring everything from the pioneering jazz of Albert Ayler with his group "Spiritual Unity" (Pi Recordings), to the Cuban son of Arsenio Rodríguez with two critically acclaimed releases on Atlantic Records under "Marc Ribot Y Los Cubanos Postizos". His avant power trio/post-rock band, Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog (Pi Recordings), continues the lineage of his earlier experimental no-wave/punk/noise groups Rootless Cosmopolitans (Island Antilles) and Shrek (Tzadik). Marc's solo recordings include "Marc Ribot Plays The Complete Works of Frantz Casseus" (Les Disques Du Crepuscule), "John Zorn's The Book of Heads" (Tzadik), "Don't Blame Me" (DIW), "Saints" (Atlantic), "Exercises in Futility" (Tzadik), and his latest "Silent Movies" released in 2010 on Pi Recordings was described as a "down-in-mouth-near master piece" by the Village Voice and has landed on several Best of 2010 lists including the LA Times and critical praise across the board. 2013 saw the release of "Your Turn" (Northern Spy), the sophomore effort from Ribot's post-rock/noise trio Ceramic Dog, and 2014 saw the monumental release: "Marc Ribot Trio Live at the Village Vanguard" (Pi Recordings), documenting Marc's first headline and the return of Henry Grimes at the historical venue in 2012 already included on Best of 2014 lists including Downbeat Magazine and NPR's 50 Favorites.
Marc has performed on scores such as "The Kids Are All Right," "Where the Wild Things Are," "Walk The Line (Mangold)," "Everything is Illuminated," and "The Departed" (Scorcese)." Marc has also composed original scores including the French film Gare du Nord (Simon), the PBS documentary "Revolucion: Cinco Miradas," the film "Drunkboat," starring John Malkovich and John Goodman, a documentary film by Greg Feldman titled "Joe Schmoe," a feature film by director Joe Brewster titled "The Killing Zone", and dance pieces "In as Much as Life is Borrowed", by famed Belgian choreographer, Wim Vandekeybus, and Yoshiko Chuma's "Altogether Different". Marc is also currently touring his live solo guitar score to Charlie Chaplin's "The Kid", which was commissioned by the NY Guitar Festival and premiered Jan 2010 at Merkin Hall, as well as a program of new arrangements of classic Film Noir scores commissioned by the New School Noir Arts Festival 2011.
In 2009, Marc was named curator and musical director for the year's Century of Song Festival, part of the Ruhr Triennale in Germany. The concert series sparked new collaborations with Iggy Pop, Marianne Faithfull, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, master cajón player Juan Medrano Cotito, Carla Bozulich and Tine Kindermann.
Marc's talents have also been showcased with a full symphony orchestra. Composer Stewart Wallace wrote a guitar concerto with orchestra specifically for Marc. The piece was premiered by the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC in July of 2004 and also appeared at The Cabrillo Festival in Santa Cruz, CA in August of 2005.
Marc is currently touring with several projects including the Marc Ribot Trio, a free jazz group featuring legendary bassist Henry Grimes and Chad Taylor on drums, his power trio Ceramic Dog with bassist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Ches Smith, the Philly soul meets the harmolodics of Ornette Coleman's The Young Philadelphians with Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Calvin Weston, and with Caged Funk, a project of funk arrangements of John Cage's music featuring Bernie Worrell of Parliament Funkadelic fame."-Marc Ribot Website (http://marcribot.com/bio)
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• Show Bio for Chad Taylor
"Chad Taylor (b. 1973) is a composer, educator, percussionist and scholar who is a co-founder of the Chicago Underground ensembles. Originally from Tempe, AZ, Chad grew up in Chicago where he started performing professionally at the age of 16. Chad has performed with Fred Anderson, Derek Bailey, Cooper-Moore, Pharoah Sanders, Marc Ribot, Peter Brotzmann, Malachi Favors and many others. Chad leads his own band Circle down which debut recording was given a 5 star review by All music:
"What is remarkable is that there is no wasted motion, no histrionics or grandstanding, as pure emotion is translated to superlative music making on this most highly recommended recording, one for the ages." Allmusic.com
Chad has a BFA from the New School in Jazz Performance and a MFA in Jazz Research and History from Rutgers University."-Chad Taylor Website (http://www.chadtaylordrums.net/html/about.php)
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