In one of the surprising recordings that he made, his participation to McCoy Tyner’s album “Guitars” is worth listening.
Accompanied by the classic rhythm section of Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnnette, McCoy welcomes various guitarists (and one banjo player) for several tunes each. It’s an interesting album, and Derek Trucks and Bill Frisell contributions are really worth noting.
I want to focus on Marc Ribot. Four tunes were recorded : two ‘classic’ jazz tunes in quartet, and two improvisations in duet. In a documentary we can see that the quartet tunes were recorded first.
In the quartet tunes, Ribot clearly is in opposition to the others, friendly fight, but he doesn’t bend his playing to the classic backing they provide, neither are they opening up to meet Ribot halfway. Interesting tension. In a review, a journalist describes Ribot playing as ‘bop from hell’…
On the other hand, the duets are quite magical. We can see in the documentary, that it really happened ‘on the spot’, and with nothing prepared the Meeting happens…
The two first improvisations ended on the album, and are quite special on this -good- respectful album: Ribot seams to be the only one who didn’t come to honor the legend. He’s here to challenge the musician that created some of the most intense music that we call “jazz”. And maybe it’s here that lies the real respect.
Here’s the opening line of his solo on “Passion Dance” : bop from hell ?