Elliott Sharp: Concert In Dachau (2008)
Over the course of four lengthy performances, he seems at times to be in a kind of dialogue with the music itself. There's a moment in "Dachau 1" where the sheer level of his engagement evokes a Terry Riley-like minimalism, but the sense is usurped in the face of the volume of Sharp's ideas and their degrees of resonance. He seems acutely appreciative, at such moments, of Derek Bailey's "in the moment" approach to solo guitar, the knowledge seeming to fuel his own creativity, and acting as a kind of spur to his playing.
In the opening passages of "Dachau 2," Sharp is preoccupied with the guitar's augmented vocabulary. Both strings and the ways in which they are to be manipulated result in music that could just as easily be the product of a duo as opposed to a solo performance. Here Sharp shows himself to be a player of finesse; it's that quality, however, which informs the changes the piece undergoes.
"Dachau 3" finds him more preoccupied with the nature of the electric properties of the guitar, in a manner that, more than anything else, here shows how alert he is to the potential it has to offer. A reflective air sometimes pervades, but such is Sharp's appreciation of musical construction that he never seems to lose sight of where the music is going. In that respect, at least, Sharp is taking his music to new places. The whole program is in essence a manifesto for restless creativity, even while on "Dachau Encore" Sharp evokes the spirit of Blind Willie Johnson with his dexterous slide playing.
Track Listing: Dachau 1; Dachau 2; Dachau 3; Dachau Encore.
Personnel: Elliott Sharp: electroacoustic guitar; laptop.
Record Label: Intakt Records
Style: Modern Jazz