Marc Ribot Plans May Retrospective

Veteran jazz guitarist Marc Ribot will celebrate his 55th birthday this May with a career-spanning, week-long musical retrospective in New York City. Ribot will visit many of his critically acclaimed projects, including the Los Cubanos Postizos, his ode to Cuban roots music; the Young Philadelphians; and his Albert Ayler-influenced group, Spiritual Unity.

"It's funny. Maybe it's a question of not missing the water until the well is dry, but the impetus for this, was so many people have come up to me and said 'why don't you do this band?'" Ribot explains to "All I could think was 'where was I when I was doing those bands?' Now will be the opportunity to see whether they've simply grown nostalgic or whether they've in fact liked it."

On May 13, Ribot will be joined by legendary bassist Henry Grimes in both the Marc Ribot Trio and with the group Spiritual Unity. Grimes has been a fixture in the free jazz scene since the 1960's, recording and performing with such fixtures as McCoy Tyner, Cecil Taylor, Sonny Rollins, and David Murray.

"I thought about putting together this band [with Grimes] around Albert Ayler, who has always been a big influence on me. I thought doing a band that used Ayler's material as a jumping off point - it would be good to start off with some common language. We've had some amazing tours."

One of Ribot's newer interests lies in the Brooklyn-based Colombian roots-rock band, La Cumbiamba eNeYe, which he'll collaborate with on two nights. "These are a bunch of young guys from Colombia that are now living in Brooklyn - from the first time I heard them, I continue to think they're one of the hardest rocking bands in New York, period," he says.

Fans of Ribot know that he's not constricted to just the jazz worlds. A long time guitarist for Tom Waits, and more recently he appeared on the smash Robert Plant/Alison Krauss album "Raising Sand." His recent work with his own group, Ceramic Dog, shows his interests in more of a punk rock, psychedelic sound. And while they've never recorded, his group the Young Philadelphians will cap the week. "We [Jamaaladeen Tacuma and G.Calvin Weston] toured as this band, the Young Philadelphians- we did punk/funk psychedelic covers of Philly soul tunes," he says. "You really can't call yourself musically literate until you've heard our version of "Rollercoaster."

2009 will continue to be a busy year for Ribot: he's headed back to the studio for the second Plant/Krauss album while his recordings with Allan Toussaint, Joe Henry, Richard Hell and John Zorn are scheduled for release. He's also been tapped by legendary film score composer Carter Burwell ("No Country For Old Men," "Fargo") to score Spike Jonze's upcoming adaptation of "Where The Wild Things Are."

"I have no idea what I'm going to do," Ribot says of the film score. "But whatever it is, [Burwell's] a great film composer- and I used to read that book to my kid. All wild kids love that book. I haven't been cast as one of the wild things."

Here is Marc Ribot's Retrospective Schedule:

May 9: Marc Ribot with Marco Cappelli & Ensemble Dissonanzen (Brecht Forum, New York)
May 10: Marc Ribot with Los Cubanos Postizos, Cotito, and La Cumbiamba eNeYe (Rose Live Music, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
May 12: Marc Ribot solo, Marc Ribot with Shrek & Rootless Cosmopolitans (The Stone, New York)
May 13: Marc Ribot Trio and Spiritual Unity (Joe's Pub, New York)
May 14: Marc Ribot plays Frantz Casseus with Marco Cappelli & Marc Ribot with Sun Ship (The Stone, New York)
May 15: Marc Ribot with Los Cubanos Postizos, Cotito, and La Cumbiamba eNeYe (Le Poisson Rouge, New York)
May 16: Marc Ribot and Ceramic Dog and Marc Ribot and the Young Philadelphians (Le Poisson Rouge, New York)