Mark Ribot


You’ve probably heard him playing even if you don’t recognize his name—he’s played guitar for Elvis Costello, Tom Waits and Laurie Anderson, among many others, so his strange and stiff-legged guitar style probably won’t come at you out of thin air. However, even fans may be taken aback by this strange and fascinating collection of solo guitar performances. Taking jazz standards ("I’m Getting Sentimental Over You," "I’m Confessin’ [That I Love You]"), folk blues and gospel tunes ("St. James Infirmary," "Go Down Moses") and obscure compositions by Albert Ayler, John Zorn and others, Ribot lovingly folds, spindles and mutilates them until they’re almost unrecognizable. The effect is kind of like looking at the tunes through a slightly broken kaleidoscope. This is not, for the most part, pretty music. But it’s always interesting.