If you’re ever tired of hearing standards, coax guitarist Marc Ribot into playing them. Reconciling the Dave Brubeck original and what’s called “Take 5” on Ribot’s latest work with his trio, Ceramic Dog, is almost too difficult to do. A phrase kicks up every once in a while harkening back to the ur-recording, but the punky rhythm section allows Ribot to lose it and wander back into the fold. The tact Ribot takes here is roughly how he approaches whatever can be considered jazz today. Having worked with gutbusters like Tom Waits and chord chompers like McCoy Tyner allows for a ridiculous range of music to hue Ribot’s guitar playing. Dude’s confident and adventurous enough to take Mary Halvorson, another guitarist, on tour—something folks more concerned with the spotlight than the end product just wouldn’t do. For all his musical gallivanting, this third Ceramic Dog album continues to broaden an already blown-out palette. “Your Turn” opens with a surprisingly rock-oriented tune—albeit a workout easily placed within an LES New York mindset. “Avanti Populo” references jazz history in passing. But Ribot and his rhythm section—bassist Shahad Ismaily and drummer Ches Smith—seem more concerned with using jazz ideas and setting them within other contexts than anything else. It’s during the moments when everyone’s locked into some rock groove that Ceramic Dog sounds like a club contender, not bistro bohemians. Whatever torture Ribot puts his six string through during “Prayer,” the results rival any noise act dicking around in a loft. And using a civil rights-era chant as bedrock for the island-styled “Ain’t Gonna Let Them Turn Us Around” is plainly bizarre, making clear Ribot sings only when he’s possessed with the spirit to do so. Injecting a surprise like that into an album’s worth of stunners is tough to do. And Ribot keeps doing it. (Dave Cantor)
May 28 at the Constellation, 3111 North Western. 8:30pm. $20-$25.