Lucien Dubuis & Trio Marc Ribot: ULTIME COSMOS

Sat Nov 13 2010
Marc Ribot has been jumping from trio to trio with alarming success lately.  Ceramic Dog produced an incredible album in 2008 and, alas, hasn’t been heard from since.  Now, Ribot makes Lucien Dubuis Trio a quartet and again, the result is an album that’s impossible to categorize, yet unmistakably Ribot-infused.

Sometimes (“Ayarashiki” for instance) he will infuriate the rock and roll fanatic for not lending his wizardry to the genre.  Sometimes (um, same song) he will bust out another heretofore untried method of playing jazz guitar.  Sometimes (let’s say “Echo Noir”) he just flies off the handle, out into space, with a unique intent that makes the musicians who wrote the song seem like they’re just following his lead.

But they’re not really; it’s just that once again, Ribot has found a cluster of collaborators so ideally suited to his eclectic sensibilities that a new supergroup actually deserving of the adjective has been born.  Dubuis himself ventures between avant-garde percussive sax beats and smoothly melodic phrasing with the dynamic finesse of a master.  His improv meshes with Marc’s so well it’s occasionally paranormal, particularly when they’re both cranking at once.  He also plays contrabass clarinet, which he uses sometimes as a creepy melodic additive and sometimes just to beef up the rhythm section.

Give this album time, and your favorite song will change every couple days.  But just to provide a couple more standouts: “Djidzo” is like Galactic interpreting Mogwai with the telepathic synergy of a Miles Davis fusion combo.  “Shit Love” sounds like Frank Zappa and Prince trading barbs and licks, smooth and gruff at the same time (but not as gross as that might sound).  You could be making a mixtape for any person of any age and lift something from this album, but it’s so wonderful as a whole that you might feel guilty breaking it up.
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