MARC RIBOT with Jay Rodriguez, Nasheet Waits, Nick Dunston
April 3, 2018, Bar LunAtico, Brooklyn NY
Published in “The NYC Jazz Record”, May 2018
Performance Review by John Pietaro
The faux old world décor of Bar LunAtico encircled Marc Ribot judiciously. Under a corroded tin ceiling, the club’s shadowy lighting fed into the noir imagery that No Wavers and other creatures of the night have always eaten up. Clearly, such affections aren’t limited by generational bounds: the 20-somethings in black berets and leather weren’t born when Ribot pioneered new sounds downtown, but at LunAtico the guitarist and his searing new quartet were greeted by a cheering capacity house.
Saxophonist Jay Rodriguez emoted as if on a mountain top while young bassist Nick Dunston laid throbbing runs about him and drummer Nasheet Waits evoked a sudden storm over tom-toms. The guitarist leaned into his microphone to unleash radical lyrics on this socially conscious crowd, offering new visions of the material from his Songs of Resistance project. Adaptations of the Carter Family’s “When the World is on Fire” and the Civil Rights anthem “We are Soldiers in the Army” were stand-outs, but no more than Pete Seeger’s “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy”, its refrain of “the big fool said to push on” now a marked affront to Trump. Lost in the fog of free improvisation, Ribot played with a frenetic blueness, up-picking spiky motifs of a uniquely urban sort.
By the final piece, charging Latin rhythms and an explosive montuno section pumped the audience to exhaustion. As the final downtown groove burst forward, Bar LunAtico’s inhabitants were lost to another time and place, all the better for the journey.