Kurt Ribak | Onward

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
Dave Frishberg Kurt Ribak Trio The Crusaders

Album Links
Facebook page Kurt Ribak's website Twitter for Band

More Artists From
United States - California - SF

Other Genres You Will Love
Jazz: Soul-Jazz Latin: Bolero Moods: Mood: Upbeat
Sell your music everywhere
There are no items in your wishlist.


by Kurt Ribak

This recording is Mingus meets The Meters - with The Crusaders, Skatalites, and Cachao along for the ride.
Genre: Jazz: Soul-Jazz
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Continue Shopping
just a few left.
order now!
Buy 2 or more of this title's physical copies and get 20% off
Share to Google +1

To listen to tracks you will need to update your browser to a recent version.

  Song Share Time Download
1. New Day
4:29 $0.99
2. Gin Martinis
2:39 $0.99
3. Staying In
4:54 $0.99
4. Blue Mambo
3:52 $0.99
5. Testifyin'
5:02 $0.99
6. Bolero Amargo
8:02 $0.99
7. Stefanie
2:57 $0.99
8. Township Jive
3:46 $0.99
9. Pickled Eggs
5:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

About this Recording
This record is called “onward” because it represents me moving onward with my life.

Two years after I was in a car wreck, I recorded my previous album, “I Got One More!” I was still recovering from the accident and had reconstructive surgeries both before and after it was recorded. Some of the takes were performed with my hand in a splint – I’d forgotten about that until I came across a picture a year later.

I’m finally through with surgeries and have largely resumed my previously scheduled life – playing bass, rowing on San Francisco Bay, writing songs and so on. In short, I’ve moved onward.

I want to thank the musicians who played on the recording. Thanks also to recording engineer Adam Munoz, mastering engineer Piper Payne, and Roger Letson and Rocio Guitard, who taught me a lot about singing.

I especially want to thank the many, many people who helped with my recovery. I worked hard to get back to playing, but I didn’t do it alone.

About the Songs
New Day – This song is about gratitude for each new day and its potential: gratitude that I am alive, that I can still make music and I can still use my hand.

Gin Martinis – I was crashing in a loft in New York City when I wrote “The Munsters Have Martinis,” a Thelonious Monk-influenced tune. That tune started as a music school harmony assignment. It was an instrumental for many years, showing up on the Kurt Ribak Trio debut recording (the “three fingers” CD) and my second album “gone.”

Recently I wrote lyrics, tweaked the melody, and “Gin Martinis” resulted. The singer’s character is a pedantic barfly. It’s entirely possible too much research went into the lyrics.

Staying In – I wrote this from the point of view of my girlfriend Korina, who is more of a homebody than I am. I first tried the tune out in Roger Letson’s jazz vocals class at Contra Costa College. Musician Gerry Grosz said the bridge of the tune needed work. He was right, although I didn’t want to admit it. I worked on it, and you have the tune here.

This is the first ballad I’ve sung. It’s tough to sing ballads well, there’s lots of space in which to screw up!

Blue Mambo – This tune was inspired by guitarist Kenny Burrell’s tune “Chitlins Con Carne.” Given the inspiration, the recording had to feature guitar. Myles Boisen did the job admirably. The intro / keyboard break was something keyboardist / producer Greg Sankovich came up with while we recorded the tune.

Testifyin’ – This tune started as a Horace Silver-inspired tune, influenced by his song “The Preacher.” I decided to give the song a sacred-steel feel (like Robert Randolph) – but it also has a slap upright bass, giving it a rockabilly tinge.

Greg Sankovich’s piano is a perfect gospel – style intro to the tune. Myles Boisen plays lap steel on it. He knocks it out of the park with his solo – he takes it to church, with a possible detour to the other place! Lincoln Adler kills with his baritone sax playing.

Bolero Amargo – This tune is also on our debut recording, “Kurt Ribak Trio.” I wrote the tune trying to capture the moment, just after making love, that you realize the relationship is over.

Stefanie – A friend observed I’d made sacrifices to pursue music and felt I wrote good tunes – so I should write some more tunes. “Stefanie” is named for her. I also wrote my bolero “Sin Dignidad” the same day. Good nudge!

Township Jive – I’ve listened to a fair bit of South African music as well as ska and early reggae. I now hear “Township Jive” as leaning more toward ska. It’s just a happy tune that popped out one day.

Pickled Eggs – This song was an instrumental called “Tailgatin” and one day it sprouted lyrics, like an old potato growing eyes. I think of the song as the soundtrack of a night in the life of a barfly. In the sung verses you hear him swagger and boast – how he claims to see himself. When he’s talking over the instrumental solos (like an obnoxious barfly would) you hear how the rest of the world sees him.

The character of the singer is obnoxious, but we’ve all been that guy.

- Kurt Ribak



to write a review