What is this thing called Club d'Elf? No, it's not a club, as in venue, but it is sort of a club, as in a group of like-minded individuals who gather together to amuse themselves (and hopefully the audience who comes to see it) with the musical equivalent of secret handshakes. In this case the secret handshake is an unspoken adhesion and fierce devotion to grooves that induce trance, and the club is a collective of musicians from all manner of varied backgrounds.
Club d'Elf convened for the first time in 1998, spearheaded and fronted by bassist/composer Mike Rivard, a busy session player who has recorded & performed with Morphine, Jon Brion, Aimee Mann, G Love & Jonatha Brooke, amongst others. Rivard drew from the players in the myriad of bands he worked with to fill out the ranks of D'Elf, creating an incredibly diverse rotating cast. Originally formed around a core rhythm section with the addition of different special guests for each show, the idea was to remix Rivard's groove-based compositions differently for each performance. Guests over the years have included John Medeski & Billy Martin (MMW), DJ Logic, Marc Ribot, Skerik, and Marco Benevento (Benevento / Russo Duo), with jambands.com describing the situation thusly: Club d'Elf consists of Mike Rivard and any cohorts who decide to embark with him into perilous sonic chimeras.