Club d'Elf

Live at Tonic New York, NY 5/26/04

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Yet another Club d'Elf live set, Live at Tonic New York, NY 5/26/04 finds bassist and bandleader Mike Rivard and crew -- this time featuring special guests John Medeski on organ, Mister Rourke (of the Addison Groove Project) on turntables, and Marc Ribot on guitar, making it a meeting of the minds between the Boston and New York improv scenes -- in a low-key, groove-oriented frame of mind. Rather than existing as a backdrop for solos, the long, open-ended songs evolve slowly if at all, most of them cooking along at a low simmer for ten-plus minutes before almost imperceptibly shifting into something new. Those looking for sterling improvisational showboating might be disappointed by the overall no-sweat ethos of this two-disc set, but taken as a whole, it's an excellent snapshot of Mike Rivard's improvisational methods as well as an excellent chillout disc that occasionally (as on the spirited two-part "Berber Song") turns into something more exciting.

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