Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!


Marc Ribot: Marc Ribot: Scelsi Morning

Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
Marc Ribot
Scelsi Morning

It would be diminishing and inappropriate to say that Marc Ribot is an eclectic guitarist as too many artists fall into this category. Even using a term such as abstract is not suitable. What is certain is that his work defies categorization, it has been changing our perception of the guitar as an instrument and its real possibilities. Very few people can match some of the experiences he has gone through. Even his guitar sounds easily defy any usual description, and as a sideman Ribot has proven to have a perfect sense how to fit in his guitar brushes with the artists' concepts, regardless of the genre. It is not accidental that he is a first choice musician when it comes to working with adventurous musicians including Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Waits, Costello, Lounge Lizards and Zazou. In a way, most of the work done by these musos is inconceivable without the delicate sound of Ribot's guitar. On the other hand, with solo works such as Saints, Shoe String Symphonies, Film Works, Requiem and Shrek, he has proven to be a composer of limitless imagination as he brings various experiences from different settings and genres into something unique.

I have no idea what scelsi means but the music on this record can be described as mysterious, rough, emotional, picturesque, delicate. In a way his approach reminds me of Van Gogh's style of painting with its colorful, blunt and slightly rough brushes on the canvas. This may not be the most accessible record but this type of record has always provided longer listening as it usually carries a sense of discovery. Ribot's choice of personnel is impeccable, and this is evidenced by the intricate yet powerful sound. The first track, "Bataille, features a brutal guitar opening that suddenly builds into a delicate world of sounds, in a way resembling the complex world of Shrek. The title track is a nice, quiet atmospheric work with strings and oboe. Ribot employs a wider pallete of instruments and thus creates all kinds of dense soundworlds.

"Earth" features strange windy sounds backed up by a fuzzy guitar in the background. "Pennies From Hell" is characterised by a monotonious and repetitive bass line interrupted by simple piano run overs and strangely colored guitar sounds. "Geese" features Ned Rothenberg on bass clarinet and he does miracles with it either by achieving various sounds or by playing repetitious melodies interrupted by violin and clarinet melodies. In a way, this track is a perfect showcase for Ribot's compositional abilities at their best. "The Youth Brigade Triumphs Again" has a subtle Chinese tinge as he plays distorted Chinese-like melodies in his thrash-like style. It is a dense world of twisted guitar sounds and repetitive percussion in the background. "Identify I-Shmentity" implies minimalistic keyboards with guitar run overs and strange violin squeaks in the background. The closing track, "Kabukitch," is a spooky piece of music with monotonous organ and directionless banjo sounds, slow keyboard textures and Japanese percussion in the background.

If Ribot has proven anything with this and his last few records it is that labels don't apply to a talent such as his. He is a musician who has mastered his instrument and approaches any music he is playing with artistic integrity and credibility. Although it is not an easy listening experience and, at first glance, it may not be apparent what is happening here, Scelsi Morning is a showcase for Ribot's unique and broad compositional skills.

Personnel: Christine Bard: (Percussion, Drums); Anthony Coleman: (Piano, Organ, Trombone, Sampler); Jill Jaffe: (Violin, Viola); François Lardeau: (Instrument); Ted Reichman: (Pump Organ, Accordion); Marc Ribot: (Guitar); Roberto Rodriguez: (Percussion, Drums); Ned Rothenberg: (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet); Eddie Sperry: (Sampler); Rob Thomas: (Violin, Bass); Chris Wood: (Bass)

Track Listing: Bataille; Scelsi Morning; And Then She Fell; Earth; Pennies From Hell; Geese; Our Daily Bread; Identity I-Shmentity; The Youth Brigade Triumphs Again (And Again); Kabukitsch

Title: Marc Ribot: Scelsi Morning | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Tzadik


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Strange Days - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Extended Analysis Strange Days - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: December 9, 2017
Read Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 Extended Analysis Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Love, Gloom, Cash, Love Extended Analysis Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Motel Shot: Expanded Edition Extended Analysis Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition Extended Analysis Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Ella Fitzgerald: 100 Songs For A Centennial" Extended Analysis Ella Fitzgerald: 100 Songs For A Centennial
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Phish: St. Louis '93" Extended Analysis Phish: St. Louis '93
by Doug Collette
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Strange Days - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" Extended Analysis Strange Days - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Motel Shot: Expanded Edition" Extended Analysis Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Procol Harum: Novum" Extended Analysis Procol Harum: Novum
by Doug Collette
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Alex Cline's Flower Garland Orchestra: Oceans of Vows" Extended Analysis Alex Cline's Flower Garland Orchestra: Oceans of Vows
by John Kelman
Published: March 23, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!