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Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos
Marc Ribot may be the most inventive guitarist to come out of New York's fecund downtown scene in the last two decades. A learned jazz and classical player, he often reduces pop, rock, or blues song forms to their most basic melodic and rhythmic elements before tweaking those forms into subtle alien shapes. His singular finesse has fired the work of such eclectic innovators as John Zorn, Tom Waits, and John Lurie. But the inspiration for his latest project, with

Los Cubanos Postizos (The Prosthetic Cubans), draws on the rich legacy of Cuban guitarist/composer Arsenio Rodriguez. Steeped in gorgeous ballads, groovy changui (traditional Cuban son), and sultry evocations, the group's self-titled debut joins a host of popular works, like Ry Cooder's Grammy-winning Buena Vista Social Club, currently cashing in on the latest exotic trend in world music. But Ribot's efforts can't be so easily discounted. The guitarist makes no claims of archival authenticity, and the exuberance and diversity of this music blow away most Western appropriations on the scene -- including Cooder's overhyped recording. Simply put, Los Cubanos Postizos are just another vehicle for Ribot's personal interpretation of a sound he recently discovered, found fascinating, and wanted to explore.

-- Sam Prestianni

Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos open for Medeski, Martin & Wood Wednesday and Thursday, June 17 and 18, at 8 p.m. at the Fillmore, 1805 Geary (at Fillmore). Tickets are $19.50; call 775-7722. The group also performs Thursday, June 18, at 11 p.m. at Cafe Du Nord, 2170 Market (at Sanchez). Tickets are $8; call 861-5016.

 
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