Articles | Popular | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

Elliott Sharp: Syzygy

Read "Syzygy" reviewed by Don Phipps

Immaculately recorded by Italian label Dodicilune, Elliott Sharp's Syzygy continues Sharp's explorations of spontaneous and improvisatory sound. He and his collaborators offer up studio versions of Syzygy on the first disc and live versions of the material on disc two. As much modern classical as abstract jazz, it is the musical textures and abstractions that give the album its dream-like eeriness. The instrumentation offers a twist as well—eschewing drums, Sharp populates his music with computer devices, “objects," and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Elliott Sharp: Chansons Du Crepuscule

Read "Chansons Du Crepuscule" reviewed by Don Phipps

In Chansons Du Crepuscule, the French multi-genre vocalist, harpist, composer and improvisor Helene Breschand hooks up with the multi-genre New York guitarist Elliott Sharp to yield spell-binding music of the first order. This fascinating collaboration crosses musical genres as easily as a nuthatch jumps from a birch tree to a cedar and then to a hickory. But since jazz has elements of all music embedded within its frame work, it's not a significant leap to suggest that Chansons Du Crepuscule ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Elliott Sharp: Err Guitar

Read "Err Guitar" reviewed by Don Phipps

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.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Elliott Sharp: Dialectrical

Read "Dialectrical" reviewed by John Sharpe

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Elliott Sharp: Port Bou

Read "Port Bou" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Elliott Sharp: Sharp? Monk? Sharp! Monk!

Read "Sharp? Monk? Sharp! Monk!" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

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 ...

FILM REVIEWS

Elliott Sharp: Ostryepolya

Read "Elliott Sharp: Ostryepolya" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Elliott Sharp Aggregat: Quintet

Read "Quintet" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "Crossing The Waters" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Elliott Sharp Trio: Aggregat

Read "Aggregat" reviewed by Robert Bush

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Elliott Sharp Trio: Aggregat

Read "Aggregat" reviewed by Troy Collins

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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

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

Read "Elliott Sharp: San Diego, CA, June 7, 2011" reviewed by Robert Bush

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 ...


Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.