Marc Ribot | Silent Movies

Pi (2010)
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  November 2, 2010
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This exceptional, eccentric guitarist has traced a slow evolution from screamer to dreamer. In the '80s, his band Shrek were as ugly and confrontational as a group of armed Tea Partiers. But over the course of many albums as a leader and gigs as a sideman (which included sessions for Alison Krauss & Robert Plant's Raising Sand, T Bone Burnett's The True False Identity, and the Black Keys' Attack and Release), he's become a melodic architect and moody sonic experimenter of the first order. The mark of a great player is his ability to transfix on his own, and that's what Ribot does on this solo outing. Sure, there are touches of dissonance, like the buzzsaw e-bow that opens "Natalia in E-Flat Major," but that number soon resolves into the lovely eddying pools of melody and soft tone that characterize all 13 of these compositions. From the opening "Variation 1" to the acoustic closer, "Sous le ciel de Paris," Ribot's phrasing is slow and contemplative, so each elegantly chiseled note stands as a beatific example of his virtuosity.

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