Marc Ribot is one of New York's true semi-hidden treasures.
For decades now, he's been an important fixture in both the New York "downtown" avant-garde jazz scene and the skronkier, weirder side of rock.
He's one of Tom Waits' most trusted sidemen on Waits' studio albums, and he's constantly gigging in a variety of settings, be it his more "traditional" free-jazz group, his "rock" group, Ceramic Dog, or his Cuban-jazz band, Los Cubanos Postizos.
Saturday, though, he'll be at legendary New York jazz club the Village Vanguard with his trio -- Henry Grimes on bass and Chad Taylor on drums.
Grimes is worth a digression of his own here -- a fixture of the '60s free-jazz scene, he played with pioneering saxophonist Albert Ayler and before trekking across the country to Los Angeles, where he disappeared. Grimes' bass didn't survive the long drive cross-country, and unable to find work without an instrument, he toiled away in menial jobs for decades.
Presumed dead, he was found again in 2003 by Marshall Marrotte, a social worker and jazz fan, and has since made a triumphant return to the jazz scene. Ribot, long a fan of Ayler's music, enlisted Grimes for several projects, and the pair link up so beautifully that at times, they seem to be sharing a brain.
You should be warned, though, that this isn't exactly Kind of Blue. This is free jazz -- aggressive, bordering on atonal, and seemingly formless. You need a different set of ears to appreciate this music, but if you can wrap your head around music like this, you'll understand why it has such fierce devotees.
Ribot's trio ends its run at the Vanguard on Sunday, so be sure to make it out on Saturday. Tickets are $25, and there's a one-drink minimum.