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Album Review / Jazz

Ribot Compiles Emotional, Offbeat Cuban Tribute

September 11, 1998|BILL KOHLHAASE

***MARC RIBOT

"Marc Ribot y

Los Cubanos Postizos"

Atlantic

Guitarist Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Lounge Lizards) has put together a collection of the music from Cuban son legend Arsenio Rodriguez and others that is at once irreverent yet emotionally serious. The album's simple electric charms coupled with the beats of Miami Sound Machine drummer Robert J. Rodriguez and percussionist E.J. Rodriguez cover a wide swath of mood and feeling in performances that meld dance rhythms with Manhattan loft-scene quirkiness. The results, right down to Ribot's Spanish-as-a-second-language vocal on "La Vida Es Un Suen~o," make for an attractively offbeat tribute. Ribot's play, often teasingly behind the beat, echoes Santana at times and Cuba's tres masters at others. With keyboardist John Medeski and bassist Brad Jones, Ribot's "Prosthetic Cubans" turn musical authenticity into a subjective science.

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