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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elliott Sharp: Err Guitar

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Is this music from another world? Dense, complex, innovative, and chock full of improvisation, Elliott Sharp's Err Guitar seeks to establish a whole new vocabulary for the instrument. Joined by the significant guitarist Mary Halvorson and the always willing to experiment Marc Ribot, Sharp elevates the guitar trio using Stockhausen-like effects that blur rhythm and sound--offering a unique perspective on the language of the guitar and not just its musical sensitivities. All three guitarists contribute compositionally to the effort.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elliott Sharp: Dialectrical

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Dialectrical constitutes the third entry in the discography of Elliott Sharp's most jazz-focused outfit, following on from the eponymous debut Aggregat (Clean Feed, 2012), and subsequent Quintet (Clean Feed, 2013). Although perhaps best known for his idiosyncratic guitar work, Sharp here demonstrates his chops as an adept reedman, with a talented NYC crew on board. Special mention must go to grizzled drummer Barry Altschul replacing Ches Smith who helmed the engine room on the previous two outings. Other constants are ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elliott Sharp: Port Bou

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Composer/multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp chose a dramatic subject for Port Bou: the last minutes in the life of philosopher Walter Benjamin at Port-Bou (a town in Catalonia, Spain) as he was fleeing Nazi-occupied France. This is a man preparing to commit suicide, so the music is appropriately intense. I'm reminded of Laurie Anderson's performance piece about Difficult Music. Some will find this music hard to listen to, not because of the noisy avant-garde content (there's only a little), but due to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Buscemi/Elliott Sharp: Rub Out The Word

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Is it significant that Frank Sinatra (1915-1998) and William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) were born just one year apart? Maybe. Sinatra began as a teen idol, before developing into American's bon vivant and arbiter of cool, and finally a cranky old man. On the other hand, the writer Burroughs was born a cranky old man, and perpetuated that image throughout his life. We loved him for his irascibility. It tempered his truths, by giving a reader a passage into his junky ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Buscemi/Elliott Sharp: Rub Out The Word

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You don't have to follow Beat literature to have some familiarity with writer William S. Burroughs, especially in his spoken word role. Performance artist Laurie Anderson collaborated with him several times, notably on You're the Guy I Want to Share My Money With (Giorno Poetry Systems, 1981) and Mister Heartbreak (Warner Bros., 1984). Bill Laswell's Material featured Burroughs reciting passages from his book The Western Lands to musical accompaniment on the album Seven Souls (Virgin Records, 1989). Actor ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elliott Sharp: Sharp? Monk? Sharp! Monk!

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Polymath musician Elliott Sharp fears nothing creatively. He will as readily dismantle the blues into its atomic components as he will Western European classical music. Or jazz, for that matter. On Sharp? Monk? Sharp! Monk!, Sharp attempts the impossible, that is: a post-modern dissection of five Thelonious Monk pieces, played on guitar no less. Ex vivo Monk could be seen as one of the first musicians to apply post-modern method to music. Fearlessly, Monk readily expanded the tonal and harmonic ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Elliott Sharp: Ostryepolya

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Elliott Sharp / Scott Fields Ostryepolya PanRec / NotTwo Records 2013 The musical meeting of innovative guitarists Elliott Sharp and Scott Fields came by coincidence. Both were aware of each other's work for many years, but the opportunity of playing as a duo never arose. Each is a master composer and improviser with extensive experience accumulated in various formats. Sharp pioneered the usage of fractal geometry, chaos theory, genetic metaphors and using ...

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 ...

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 ...


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