It may be a shock to his fans, but the guitarist Marc Ribot, who is a guru to the art rock and avant garde jazz (downtown New York scene), not only can but likes playing blues and funky jazz.
And he will be playing this, but not just this, in his upcoming tour as The Jazz-Bins with organist (actually a virtuoso of the Hammond B3 organ) Greg Lewis and Joe Dyson on drums.
But this is not as surprising after realizing that Marc Ribot played early on in his career (for four months) with the jazz organ legend Brother Jack McDuff. Ribot played the “Chitlin Circuit” with McDuff (venues in the South for Black audiences only) and he even went on his first-ever European tour with McDuff in 1979. For Ribot, this early engagement with the Soul Jazz scene, if not even a musical baptism for him, shows a much lesser noticed influence; yet for Ribot the experience has been key in his music, especially his search for the same intensity of this kind of jazz. He has recalled in previous interviews that it matches the intensity of punk at CBGB’s.
That said, Ribot is as influenced by the no wave and punk scene in New York City in the mid to late 1970s with no wave groups like James Chance and the Contortions, or DVA, and “punk” groups like The Ramones, Patti Smith Group, Television, and Suicide. All staples at CBGB’s.
Ribot became better known, or he got his first break in the mid-80s only after joining The Lounge Lizards, replacing the original guitarist Arto Lindsay. By joining John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards, Ribot as rhythm guitarist helped shape the sound for one of the most influential jazz-meets-art rock groups of that era. While there has always been an unmistakable groove (a certain dance factor) in the Lounge Lizards, it is even more so since Ribot joined them for the albums “Big Heart: Live in Tokyo” (1986), “No Pain For Cakes” (1987) and “Voice of Chunk” (1989).
Since then, Ribot has gone on to play with top names from New York City and beyond including John Zorn, Tom Waits, Norah Jones, The Klezmatics, Marianne Faithful, Elvis Costello, etc.
Ribot’s main counterpart for the Jazz-Bins project is Greg Lewis, who also goes by the stage name Organ Monk, since he has a special project dedicated to Thelonious Monk, but replacing the piano with the Hammond B3 organ. There is a YouTube clip of the Greg Lewis Trio, featuring Marc Ribot at the Bar Lunatico in Brooklyn, playing a bluesy funk; it’s “Got My Mojo Working” with Ribot and company on fire. This session was around the same time that Ribot recorded as a trio on Lewis’ album “Organ Monk Blue” (2017) with drummer Jeremy Clemens.
Hopefully, Ribot with Lewis and Joe Dyson on drums will play at least some Monk tunes, too.
Some selected upcoming concerts in Europe for the Jazz-Bins are listed below.
April 14, Friday—Domicil—Dortmund, Germany
April 16, Sunday—Jazzclub Unterfahrt—Munich, Germany
April 17, Monday—Treibhaus—Innsbruck, Austria
April 19, Wednesday—Muziekpodium Paradox—Tilburg, Netherlands
April 22, Saturday—AMR Sud des Alpes—Geneva, Switzerland
April 24, Monday—Porgy & Bess Jazz & Music Club—Vienna, Austria
April 25, Tuesday—UFFO Trutnov—Trutnov, Czech Republic
April 26, Wednesday—Palac Akropolis—Prague, Czech Republic
April 28, Friday—KMS Philharmonie—Berlin, Germany
April 29, Saturday—Athens Conservatoire Amphitheatre—Athens, Greece
More information and ticket links can be found on here on Marc Ribot’s website.
Last modified: March 7, 2023