by Andrew Frisicano

Marc Ribot @ Maxwell's Dec. 2008 (more by Tim Griffin)
Marc Ribot

"I figured I'd do it before I croaked," the birthday boy [Marc Ribot] explains of this mini-retrospective. "I don't trust the bastards to do it afterwards." [Village Voice]

Last night was the first night of that "mini-retrospective" 55th-birthday celebration for Ribot. The guitarist performed songs from his 2003 album Scelsi Morning with Ensemble Dissonanzen and special guests...

Inspired by the late Italian visionary composer, the album [is] one of the guitarist's most challenging efforts, further fleshed out in collaboration with new-music guitarist Marco Cappelli and his Italian-based Ensemble Dissonanzen, with whom Ribot has performed in Europe. Marc says, "What they've put together is quite beautiful. If you want to hear Giacinto Scelsi solo pieces, you'll get to hear the flute piece, the piano piece, the organ piece, the guitar piece and even the trumpet piece. It's more of Scelsi's solo work than you'll ever hear in one place in a good long time, and then you get my record thrown in, too."

As a prelude to his birthday week, Ribot sat in with power improv trio Whoopie Pie at Zebulon on Wednesday, May 6th. The guitarist worked his magic over the massive drumming of Mike Pride and sturdy bass and synth pedals of Jamie Saft. A musician's ability to choose skilled and suitable collaborators is a huge part of making improvised music work, and those two musicians, with saxist Bill McHenry, built off Ribot's mood transitions perfectly (and vice versa). This week provides no shortage of opportunities to witness Ribot's skill as a juggler as he balances between ten-or-so different musical combos at a variety of venues.

Video of Ribot with Whoopie Pie on the 6th, below...

Whoopie Pie with Marc Ribot | NYC @ Zebulon | May 06 2009