(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Moroccan-dosed dub-jazz collective Club D’Elf, featuring superstar keyboardist John Medeski of Medeski Martin and Wood fame, returns to Club Helsinki Hudson with its funky world-trance grooves on Sunday, December 20, at 8pm.
The brainchild of Boston bassist/composer Mike Rivard (Morphine, Either Orchestra, Guster, Boston Pops), Club d’Elf is a constellation of top musicians from the jazz, DJ, rock and world music scenes of Boston and NYC who get in the groove and proceed to blow it up. With Rivard and drummer Dean Johnston at the core, guitars, turntables, Fender Rhodes, laptops, horns, tablas and a myriad of exotic instruments flow in and out of the mix.
Under the tutelage of band member Brahim Fribgane (who hails from Casablanca) the band has made Moroccan trance influences an essential part of the mix. In addition to bass, Rivard performs on the Moroccan sintir, a 3-string bass lute used by the Gnawa, a mystical brotherhood of trance-healers. Derived from ancient sources, trance forms the central core of the Club d’Elf aesthetic, unifying the various genres the band has absorbed, leading them to be called “One of the most inventive and ever-changing bands in all of new jazz. There is simply not another band like Club d’Elf on the planet,” by Jazz America. Marlon Bishop of radio station WNYC summed them up thusly: “Club d’Elf sounds like the lovechild of Pink Floyd and George Clinton, dropped in Marrakesh … some deeply psychedelic music.”
Special guest John Medeski, who has been an “honorary core member” of Club d’Elf from day one, is best known for his work with the genre-defying trio Medeski Martin & Wood. Built upon jazz roots, electronics and rhythmic grooves – not unlike Club d’Elf — MMW have broken out of the traditional jazz sphere and have shared the bill with groups such as The Roots, Beck, A Tribe Called Quest, Ray Charles, Hermento Pascoal, and Phish, frequently appearing in venues unavailable to most jazz artists.
Medeski’s recording credits include John Zorn, Iggy Pop, T Bone Burnett, Ray Lamontagne, Dan The Automator and k.d. Lang. Medeski has produced the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, pedal steel guitar group the Campbell Brothers, and two records from the Wood Brothers, and is currently touring with gospel super group The Word.
For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800.