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Marc Ribot, Roy Campbell, Henry Grimes, Chad Taylor 

Spiritual Unity

Wednesday, Aug 10 2005
Marc Ribot is the postmodern guitarist. From crusty garage rock to graceful classical, sculpted white noise to sultry Afro-Cuban grooviness, the New York native is a master of myriad musical forms and a slave to none. But Ribot's distinction lies less in his chameleonic skills than in the way he bends pure melody into any rhythmic pattern. He can deconstruct, reinterpret, and reconfigure a song's central motifs at any given moment without ever losing the compositional through-line. Nowhere in Ribot's discography is this more evident than on Spiritual Unity, an extraordinary tribute to the late free-jazz pioneer Albert Ayler. Performing classic tunes like "Spirits," "Saints," and "Bells" with trumpeter Roy Campbell, drummer Chad Taylor, and bassist Henry Grimes (an Ayler co-conspirator in the music's heyday in the '60s), the guitarist resurrects the energy of Ayler's full-throttle vision while reveling in every nuanced contour of the folk-derived melodies. The result is a bent, beautiful shout-out to a controversial jazz legend and a testament to the value of the circuitous path.

About The Author

Sam Prestianni


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