Club d’Elf is a jam/groove supergroup with wide-ranging styles and influences: Moroccan trance; electric-70s era Miles Davis; the prog-rock masterworks of Frank Zappa; hip-hop turntable jams a la DJ Logic; and global dub reminiscent of Bill Laswell’s work. Their live performances, led by bassist/sintir player Mike Rivard, are legendary improv sessions where anything can happen.
On this Spring run through Western Mass, Club d’Elf is joined by the one and only John Medeski (of Medeski, Martin & Wood) on grand piano and a range of vintage analog keyboards. Medeski, among other things, is a skilled bluesman and finds a perfect niche in the group as they explore the true roots of the blues in the psychedelic desert landscapes of North Africa.
Under the tutelage of member Brahim Fribgane, the band skillfully incorporates gnawa (Moroccan trance) to the mix. Audiences of all persuasions are drawn to Fribgane’s mesmerizing oud stylings and Rivard’s commanding playing of the Moroccan sintir, a 3 string bass lute used by the Gnawa people of Morocco. Derived from such ancient sources as these, trance forms the central core of the Club d’Elf aesthetic, unifying all of the various genres the band has absorbed.