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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elliott Sharp Aggregat: Quintet

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Elliott Sharp is one of New York downtown scene's more notorious affiliates, primarily heralded for his avant-garde guitar work, spanning jazz improvisation, jazz-rock, and blues-rock. He's also an accomplished reedman, evidenced on Quintet and previous ventures into the free-jazz space. Sharp once again aligns with like- minded New York-based artists, some of whom are leaders, and busy session artists. Residing within a controlled-chaos type scenario, the soloists engage in some intense duels when all hell breaks loose, but also temper the outlook with edgy, inward-looking minimalism. Sharp's brisk phrasings, tinted with vibrato and popping notes, often instigate the proceedings or ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elliott Sharp / Melvin Gibbs / Lucas Niggli: Crossing The Waters

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The performer roster of Switzerland's progressive record label Intakt Records was showcased in 2012 at John Zorn's New York City venue, The Stone. Venerable Swiss drummer and longtime Intakt recording artist Lucas Niggli teamed with New York City-based guitarist Elliott Sharp and bassist Melvin Gibbs for a maiden trio concert, wasting no time at all capturing their synergistic output by cutting this album the following day. The results are gratifying, as the multifaceted drummer-- known for pushing the envelope--attains equal ground with Sharp and Gibbs, known for honing their respective roots in Manhattan's renegade downtown scene and elsewhere.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elliott Sharp Trio: Aggregat

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Elliott Sharp is a musical provocateur of the highest order. Having developed his own distinctive voice on a wide variety of instruments, on Aggregat he focuses on tenor and soprano saxophones and guitar.His trio-mates were wisely selected. Double bassist Brad Jones has illuminated sessions by everyone from pianist Muhal Richard Abrams to pop-vocalist Sheryl Crow. Ches Smith is one of the most astonishing young drummers to hit the New York City jazz scene in quite some time, and his recent work with alto saxophonist Tim Berne and clarinetist Ben Goldberg showcase a singular talent.Jones' muscular, loping ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elliott Sharp Trio: Aggregat

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Long revered for his innovative approach to the electric guitar, composer Elliott Sharp's laudable but lesser known skills as a saxophonist finally come to the fore on Aggregat. Accompanied by bassist Brad Jones and drummer Ches Smith, Sharp performs on soprano and tenor saxophones, in addition to his main axe. In light of Sharp's oeuvre, this atypically straightforward trio setting intriguingly frames his progressive aesthetic within the context of a cross-generational ensemble.Jones came to prominence performing with the Jazz Passengers and Marc Ribot in the Downtown NYC scene, a decade after luminaries like Sharp and John Zorn had ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Elliott Sharp: San Diego, CA, June 7, 2011

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Elliott Sharp Bonnie Wright House Concert San Diego, CA June 7, 2011 Composer and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, bass, reeds, electronics) Elliott Sharp dropped into San Diego for an exclusive, by invitation-only house concert organized by the area's most adventurous curator, Bonnie Wright, on June 7. Sharp is a man with multiple projects, recordings and performances going at all times. He recently released an opera, Binibon (2011) on Wright's Henceforth Records, and he's at the helm of several longstanding ensembles like the blues projects Carbon, Terraplane, noise trio Bootstrappers, with bassist Melvin Gibbs ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michiyo Yagi / Elliott Sharp: Reflexions

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Tokyo-based koto player Michiyo Yagi and New York-based guitarist/composer Elliott Sharp have been collaborating since the mid-nineties. Yagi, during her tenure as visiting professor of music at Wesleyan University, was looking for role models who transform the conventions of their instruments, experimenting with sound and musical forms. Sharp was one of these mavericks that Yagi was drawn to, along with others including Fred Frith and Marc Ribot. Over the years, this improvising duo, which has kept collaborating and performing, became a tight unit. Both have developed a highly personal and idiosyncratic language, while respecting past traditions. Listening ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elliott Sharp / Carbon: Void Coordinates

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This is a reconvening for Elliott Sharp and his cohorts in Carbon--a band that spanned the period between 1991 and 1996--but anyone familiar with the guitarist's work will quite rightly take it for granted that this reunion has not resulted in the same old same old. If it has, in any degree, it's only as a result of familiarity. None of the music is an outgrowth of the tried and trusted, and indeed its sometimes indeterminate nature might be symptomatic of re-acquaintance manifesting itself in both new and previously unresolved tensions.

This is a band that deals in post-rock, including ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Boris Savoldelli / Elliott Sharp: Protoplasmic

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Boris Savoldelli doesn't even occupy the same rarefied territory as Phil Minton when it comes to free vocalizing. Instead, he carves out his own niche through his use of various electronic manipulations. However, it's guitarist Elliott Sharp's input that makes all the difference on Protoplasmic.

“Prelude To Biocosmo Pt. One" could almost be a comment on these media-saturated days. Savoldelli takes language, and doesn't so much manipulate it as deconstruct it, stretching syllables so they're eventually overcome by the ether. Meanwhile, Sharp offers wry comment on his excesses and apparent self-absorption. The resulting music is thus not so much the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Boris Savoldelli / Elliott Sharp: Protoplasmic

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In the realm of free improvisation and even more structured pursuits, the limits of the human voice are being tested and expanded more than ever before by artists including Norwegians Sidsel Endresen and her groundbreaking One (Sofa, 2007), and Maja Ratkje with her equally innovative River Mouth Echoes (Tzadik, 2008). Italian singer Boris Savoldelli may have been mentored by Mark Murphy, but his approach on Protoplasmic--a challenging series of free improvisations recorded without overdubs with free-spirited guitarist Elliott Sharp--owes more, perhaps, to the almost unparalleled Phil Minton, caught recently in Bergen, Norway with the freewheeling Speeq.

LIVE REVIEWS

Festival International Musique Actuelle Victoriaville: Day 5 - May 19, 2008

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Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

Elliott Sharp, Art Bears SongbookFestival International Musique Actuelle VictoriavilleVictoriaville, Quebec, CanadaMay 19, 2008

Programming milestone years for any festival is a challenge, but even more so than most for Festival International Musique Actuelle Victoriaville, since many of the artists brought to the festival are not actively touring. This is, after all, not only too early to be a part of the summer festival season in North America but, with its unconventional and uncompromising programming, a festival ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elliott Sharp: Concert In Dachau

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Vocabulary is arguably the key ingredient in any entirely solo performance on any instrument other than the piano. Concert In Dachau is, perhaps, the best realized music Electroacoustic guitarist Elliott Sharp has ever committed to record. It's rare to get the chance to take in a musician's very thought processes as is possible here, and a by-product is Sharp's vocabulary being is thrown into stark relief. It's to his resounding credit that it's rich, varied and alive with nuance.

Over the course of four lengthy performances, he seems at times to be in a kind of dialogue with the music ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Elliott Sharp: Concert in Dachau & Octal

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Elliott Sharp Concert in Dachau Intakt 2007 Elliott Sharp Octal Clean Feed 2007

Guitarist Elliott Sharp adds two more entries to his lengthy and diverse discography with these solo discs. Both are chock full of his customary timbral innovation and rhythmic multiplicity. Concert in Dachau is really magical, as much a process as a series of four long-form pieces. Sharp moves, ever so gradually, from earthy blues-inflected drones ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Elliott Sharp: pi:k (2004/5) & Breaking News

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Elliott Sharp/Charlotte Hug pi:k (2004/5) Emanem 2007 Simone Massaron Breaking News Long Song 2007

For two relatively similar instruments, the guitar and the viola have very different sounds. At least, that is, until put in the hands of Elliott Sharp and Charlotte Hug. In the wonderful cacophony of their duo record pi:k, the listener is forced to stop and think, “OK, what do these instruments sound like?" to sort out who's doing what. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elliott Sharps Terraplane: Secret Life

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Multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp expresses music through his own personal filter. He does this in the postmodern spirit: instead of assembling a collection of musical ideals, he adopts musical ideas rooted in the reaction to the restrictions and limitations of those musical ideals. In some highbrow sense that may describe what Ornette Coleman and late John Coltrane were attempting to do with not only jazz, but music in general.

Sharp takes blues, jazz and rock elements, combining them freeform to create what can, to the chagrin of his intentions, only be termed as 21st Century blues. His compositions, while not amorphous, ...



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