Not long ago, avant-garde music was supported mostly by academia and arts endowments. Now rock & roll has gotten into the act too. When Jeff Tweedy signed up Nels Cline to be Wilco's lead guitarist, Cline had been making balls-out, free-form jazz records. Happily, he still is, as vigorously as ever ….
In a world positively overstuffed with guitarists, Marc Ribot stands out. It’s not necessarily because of his technical abilities, but because he can squeeze more feeling out of the three notes that make up “Hot Cross Buns” than most young hotshots can out of a complicated Bach fugue. It’s been a long career for Ribot—over 20 years as a solo artist at this point, and deriving longevity from simplicity is no game for weaklings.
On his third recording for the indie Pi Recordings imprint -- home to some of the more exciting jazz recordings in the 21st century -- guitarist Marc Ribot takes yet another turn in his prolific career. Silent Movies is a collection of 13 solo guitar pieces, recorded in complete takes with minimal sonic atmospherics added in overdub. The album was partially inspired by his experience of playing live as accompanist to a screening of Charlie Chaplin's film The Kid.