Rootless Cosmopolitans

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Brian Olewnick
Rootless Cosmopolitans was guitarist Marc Ribot's early and quixotic stab at commercial semi-success, a quasi-rock band filtered through free jazz and noise. Clarinetist Don Byron shares the lead instrumental work with Ribot and the two, backed by the imaginative keyboards of Anthony Coleman, certainly make for a unique ensemble sound, far more thorny than your standard rock fare. They do include covers of a couple of boomer classics, Hendrix's "The Wind Cries Mary" featuring a harsh backing of Ribot's disaffected vocals and a solo Ribot rendition of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Indeed, harshness, even a certain sourness, is one of the abiding qualities of this disc. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Brian Olewnick
Rootless Cosmopolitans was guitarist Marc Ribot's early and quixotic stab at commercial semi-success, a quasi-rock band filtered through free jazz and noise. Clarinetist Don Byron shares the lead instrumental work with Ribot and the two, backed by the imaginative keyboards of Anthony Coleman, certainly make for a unique ensemble sound, far more thorny than your standard rock fare. They do include covers of a couple of boomer classics, Hendrix's "The Wind Cries Mary" featuring a harsh backing of Ribot's disaffected vocals and a solo Ribot rendition of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Indeed, harshness, even a certain sourness, is one of the abiding qualities of this disc. Fans who know Ribot from the beautiful surf-inspired tones he generates in his work with John Zorn on both the latter's soundtracks and in the Bar Kokhba ensemble won't find such dulcet sounds here. Some cuts, like "The Cocktail Party," get into a bit of a Captain Beefheart-ian mode, others are reminiscent of Ornette Coleman's Prime Time groups. Led by Coleman's spacy organ, the group gels in a pleasantly incoherent manner on "Nature Abhors a Vacuum Cleaner" and Byron, on bass clarinet, leads them through a tender reading of "Mood Indigo." There is a decent amount of enjoyable music here, but it's hit and miss, very much a grab-bag affair. All of the musicians involved went on to do finer work later in their careers, though, so what value Rootless Cosmopolitans retains tends toward the historical.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/20/1991
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • UPC: 731451009129
  • Catalog Number: 510091

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I Should Care (1:17)
  2. 2 Shortly After Takeoff (4:14)
  3. 3 The Wind Cries Mary (5:01)
  4. 4 Friendly Ghosts (5:20)
  5. 5 The Cocktail Party (4:59)
  6. 6 New Sad (3:01)
  7. 7 A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste (1:13)
  8. 8 Beak Lunch Manifesto (6:31)
  9. 9 While My Guitar Gently Weeps (1:57)
  10. 10 Nature Abhors a Vacuum Cleaner (4:31)
  11. 11 Mood Indigo (4:40)
  12. 12 Have a Nice Day (3:43)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Marc Ribot Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Don Byron Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Arto Lindsay Guitar
Anthony Coleman Piano, Keyboards
Michael Blair Drums, Background Vocals
Curtis Fowlkes Trombone
Melvin Gibbs Bass, Guitar
Roy Nathanson Saxophone
Richie Schwarz Percussion, Drums
Brad Jones Bass
Technical Credits
Don Byron Sound Effects
Marc Ribot Producer
Ralph Carney Sona
Arto Lindsay Liner Notes
Hugo Dwyer Producer, Engineer
Arthur Moorhead Producer
Bill Rice Paintings
George DuBose Art Direction
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