Tuesday, May 01, 2018

New Recording from Kurt Ribak, with Release Party!

Kurt Ribak
Photo by Clifton Romig

Jazz bassist extraordinaire Kurt Ribak and his group have a new CD, called onward, which will be released on May 1, 2018. I have a couple of Kurt's CDs, and they are really terrific - looking forward very much to this one. If you don't know Kurt and his music, here's an interview from 2015 with Brian McCoy.

AND there's a release party! You can hear Kurt and the folks on the CD at the Freight & Salvage on Monday, May 7. Details:

Freight & Salvage
2020 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA 94704

Doors open 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $16 in advance / $20 at the door.

Press release after the cut.

Berkeley, CA… Bay Area bassist, bandleader, composer, and jazz vocalist, Kurt
Ribak describes his music as “Charles Mingus meets The Meters. They go to Duke
Ellington’s house to jam, and Cachao and Thelonious Monk sit in.”

Ribak (pronounced REE-bok), who has recorded 4 CDs (Kurt Ribak Trio in 2005,
more in 2007, gone in 2009, and I Got One More! in 2015) and has appeared on a
dozen other recordings will celebrate the launch of his 5th CD, "onward," with a CD
release party on May 7th at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. The concert will feature
his band: Ribak (bass and vocals), Greg Sankovich (keyboards), Lincoln Adler
(saxophone), Myles Boisen (electric guitar and lap steel guitar), Alan Hall (drums),
and Michaelle Goerlitz (percussion). Special guests will be Ross Wilson (brass) and
Sheilani Alix and Lorna K (vocals).

This new CD kicks off with New Day, a celebration of being alive to greet a new day
and all its possibilities. Blue Mambo is a tribute to Kenny Burrell's Chitlins con
Carne from his classic Midnight Blue. Bolero Amargo is a spacious, down tempo
exploration of bolero. Two bop tunes, the instrumental Stefanie and the vocal Gin
Martinis, round out the musical styles. As on Ribak’s last recording, he is using an
expanded line-up, with Bay Area noted percussionist, Michaelle Goerlitz, on several
tracks. One tune, Testifyin' features former Tom Waits sideman, Myles Boisen, on
lap steel, a new element for the band. The CD is topped off with Ribak singing
Pickled Eggs; he describes this New Orleans-flavored tune as "the soundtrack to a
night of bad decisions." His ballad vocal I Think I'm Staying In is in the voice of
someone who is feeling a bit worn down by the day and wants to spend a quiet
night at home. Township Jive is an upbeat instrumental inspired by Soweto
township music and the early ska instrumentals of the Skatalites.

Growing up, Ribak found music where he could: when he was four years old his
mother found him dancing to the sound of the dishwasher. (More conventional early
musical experiences included playing cello and singing in the San Francisco Boys
Chorus.) The Berkeley native attended UC Berkeley (where he played classical
music and played in the UC Jazz Ensembles) and later attended Berklee College of

Music, where he met keyboardist Greg Sankovich and reconnected with his fellow
San Francisco Boys Chorus alumnus, saxophonist Lincoln Adler.
Ribak’s music enjoys airplay on the Bay Area’s KCSM Radio as well as other jazz
stations nationwide. He has led his group at venues throughout the greater San
Francisco Bay Area and beyond, including appearances at the Fillmore Street Jazz
Festival, the Boom Boom Room, and sold-out appearances at Yoshi’s.

Ribak won scholarships to Berklee College of Music where he spent countless
hours mastering the styles of bassists Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, and Charles
Mingus and graduated with top honors. There he learned that he loved composition
and songwriting. His early tunes reflect a strong Thelonious Monk influence while
others reflect his love of the great bassist/composer/ bandleader Charles Mingus.
His later tunes bring to mind Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, and the South African
composer Abdullah Ibrahim.

Ribak has shared the stage with circus performers, preachers and fire-breathing
strippers (but never all three at once). He has performed in venues ranging from
Yoshi's to a club where someone stashed a loaded .45 in his bass bag. Kurt rarely
plays there any more.

In June 2012 Ribak was in an auto accident, seriously injuring his left hand and
forearm. Thirteen operations and six years later he has resumed playing, much to

the surprise of some of his surgeons.


Kurt Ribak said...

Thank, Lisa!

Lisa Hirsch said...

You're very welcome! I was away Sat - Tues this week and so could not go. I hope the release party / performance went well.