Marc Ribot plays solo guitar works of Frantz Casseus – Marc Ribot

Marc Ribot is possibly best known as a sessioneer for the likes of Tom Waits, or as a premier exponent of New York Skronk/Jazz, or even as leader of the Prosthetic Cubans. This recording however is a different kettle of fish.
In an article in The Word magazine a year or so ago, a journalist wrote (and I forget who exactly) that Ribot had one of the most distinctive guitar sounds in music. Have to disagree with that, hear him in any of the above combinations, or in playing for Sam Phillips, Krauss-Plant or even Madeline Peyroux and you are aware of a musical chameleon who can fit in anywhere with a variety of tones/sounds.

The young performer with the composer in 1978


Here on this album he limits himself to classical guitar, playing the music of Haitian composer Casseus, with whom Ribot studied for a while. After an injury the composer himself could no longer perform, and wished the pieces recorded. I 1993 Ribot did this releasing his efforts just a month or so after Casseus’ death. The tunes are gentle, melancholic (as befits an exile) and possess a light beauty which is nimbly and dextrously articulated by the erstwhile jazzer. Top tunes include the technically challenging Congo the beautiful Romance 1978 and the four part Haitian Suite.
If you like Ribot’s other work, or are just in need of some gently reflective tunes for a quiet afternoon, do yourself a favour and get hold of this – a little gem.

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