Rootless Cosmopolitans

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This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on November 25 2019. This is a backup of Wikipedia:Rootless_Cosmopolitans. All of its AfDs can be found at Wikipedia:Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Rootless_Cosmopolitans, the first at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Rootless_Cosmopolitans. Purge



Rootless Cosmopolitans is the debut solo album by American guitarist Marc Ribot, released by Antilles in 1990.[1][2]


From 1979 Ribot was gaining recognition as a sideman working with pick-up bands for R&B artists like Brother Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, Carla and Rufus Thomas and even Chuck Berry.[3][4] In 1984 he became a member off John Lurie's Lounge Lizards and shortly after contributed strongly to Tom Waits's Rain Dogs in 1985.[5] Ribot worked with Waits on subsequent albums and tours and contributed to recordings by Elvis Costello and The Jazz Passengers and John Zorn before commencing his first album.


The album was recorded in New York City at Sound on Sound Recording except "I Should Care", which was recorded at Harold Desau, and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", recorded by Ribot on a cassette-tape Port-A-Studio. Ribot stated "Rootless Cosmopolitans was the first record I had real control over. It’s a walking tour through all these different styles that had meant something to me emotionally as a side musician".[6]


Template:Album ratings Reception was mixed. In The Village Voice, Gary Giddins called it "a notable record" observing "his key associates are Don Byron and Anthony Coleman and the repertory covers Hendrix and George Harrison as well as two songs – "I Should Care" and "Mood Indigo" – that are known not least for brooding interpretations by Monk. Rootless Cosmopolitans offers mostly originals that shriek and rumble and clatter with unexpected amiability, but in the pause-and-conquer strategy of those two songs, especially the 77-second "i Should Care", Ribot suggested a new potential in his playing".[7]

The Allmusic review by Brian Olewnick awarded the album 3 stars, stating, "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".[8]

Critic Robert Christgau identified Ribot's version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" as A Choice Cut - a good song on an album that isn't worth your time or money.[9]

Elsewhere's Graham Reid noted "None of the interpretations will appeal to jazz or rock listeners at a guess. They are sometimes disturbingly aggressive decon/reconsructions of the source material, their version of "Mood Indigo" the most respectful . . . for a while. ... Perhaps that's why you're better to undertake this post-modern stuff without reference to the titles and just listen to the wit, ingenuity and challenge the album offers".[10]

The Penguin Guide to Jazz commented that "much of the record is given over to pseudo-rock productions that wouldn't pass as demos in Chartsville".[11]

Track listing

Template:Track listing

  • Track 12 does not appear on the original LP.


  • Marc Ribot – guitars, harmonica, vocal
  • Curtis Fowlkes (5, 10) – trombone
  • Roy Nathanson (5, 8, 10, 12) – saxophone
  • Don Byron (2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12) – bass clarinet, clarinet, turkey calls
  • Anthony Coleman (2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 12) – keyboards, piano, organ, sampler
  • Arto Lindsay (3, 8) – guitar
  • David Sardi (10) – guitar
  • Brad Jones (4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12) – bass, guitar on (11)
  • Melvin Gibbs (2, 3, 6) – bass, guitar
  • Richie Schwarz (2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12) – drums, sampled percussion
  • Michael Blair (3, 5) – drums, backwards vocal
  • Ralph Carney (3) – sona


  1. Marc Ribot website: discography, archive accessed November 25, 2019
  2. Roussel P. Discography of Marc Ribot, archive accessed November 25, 2019
  3. All About Jazz: Marc Ribot: That's The Way I View It From New York, archive accessed December 8, 2019
  4. Marc Ribot: Biography, accessed December 8, 2019
  5. The Village Voice: In Praise of Marc Ribot, accessed December 8, 2019
  6. Krasnow, D. Marc Ribot Interview, Bomb, accessed November 25, 2019
  7. Giddins, G., Monk with Frets, The Village Voice, May 14, 1996, reprinted in Weather Bird: Jazz at the Dawn of It's Second Century. New York: Oxford University Press. 2004. pp. 144. ISBN 0-19-515607-2. 
  8. Olewnick, Brian. [[[:Template:Allmusic]] "Rootless Cosmopolitans: Review"]. Allmusic. Template:Allmusic. Retrieved 25 November 2019. 
  9. Christgau, R. Consumer Guide Reviews: Marc Ribot, accessed November 25, 2019
  10. Reid, G. Elsewhere: Marc Ribot Considered (2015): Cosmopolitan guitarist without portfolio, accessed November 25, 2019
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Penguin1

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