Articles by John Sharpe

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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Album Review

Elisabeth Harnik / Michael Zerang: Dream Disobedience

Read "Dream Disobedience" reviewed by John Sharpe


On Dream Disobedience American drummer Michael Zerang and Austrian pianist Elisabeth Harnik head way out left field, treating their instruments as noise generators in a duet captured live at the Sound Disobedience Festival, in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, in March 2019. Zerang may be best known as a member of Peter Brötzmann's Chicago Tentet and one third of {Joe McPhee}}'s Survival Unit III, but he also plays with the likes of Ed Wilkerson, Hamid Drake and Steve ...

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Album Review

Sabu Toyozumi / Mats Gustafsson: Hokusai

Read "Hokusai" reviewed by John Sharpe


In a departure from the archival recordings customarily offered by the NoBusiness label's Japanese Chap Chap series, Hokusai presents a meeting of minds between Swedish reedman Mats Gustafsson and veteran drummer Sabu Toyozumi, recorded live in June 2018. The 65-minute program includes a solo piece from each man but still affords over 40-minutes of the pair in tandem. As one of the pioneers of Japanese free music Toyozumi has played with virtually everyone of note among his countrymen ...

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Album Review

Paul Dunmall - Matthew Shipp - Joe Morris - Gerald Cleaver: The Bright Awakening

Read "The Bright Awakening" reviewed by John Sharpe


British saxophonist Paul Dunmall reaffirms the transcendent power of free jazz with a muscular quartet convened for his triumphant appearance at the 2012 Vision Festival, for which he invited pianist Matthew Shipp, bassist Joe Morris and drummer Gerald Cleaver to join him. The pianist and reedman were well acquainted, having hooked up during a Shipp residency at London's Cafe Oto in 2010, with the group captured for posterity on Live In London (FMR, 2017). While Dunmall had not previously played ...

5

Album Review

Derek Bailey / Mototeru Takagi: Live at FarOut, Atsugi 1987

Read "Live at FarOut, Atsugi 1987" reviewed by John Sharpe


Thanks to its licensing deal with the Japanese Chap Chap label, the Lithuanian NoBusiness imprint continues its exposure of unexpected gems from the Japanese free scene of the 1980s and 1990s. While many feature solely native improvisers, others pair local performers with Western visitors. Live At Far Out, Atsugi 1987 falls into the latter camp, presenting British guitarist Derek Bailey during one of his regular visits to the country, in duet with saxophonist Mototeru Takagi. Sadly, both ...

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Album Review

Tomeka Reid - Joe Morris: Combinations

Read "Combinations" reviewed by John Sharpe


One of the fascinations of a duet is how the alternating tension and balance between the two poles can create an overall mood which differs from either of the constituent parts. Abstraction particularly promotes that sort of ambiguity, and it is especially prevalent in the pairing of cellist Tomeka Reid and guitarist Joe Morris on Combinations, who....er, combine on a program of ten cuts, which include three covers from the free jazz canon alongside unfettered inventions. After a ...

5

Album Review

Roscoe Mitchell & Mike Reed: The Ritual and the Dance

Read "The Ritual and the Dance" reviewed by John Sharpe


Though reedman Roscoe Mitchell has appeared as a guest with drummer Mike Reed's Loose Assembly outfit, captured on Empathetic Parts (482 Music, 2010), this compelling set unfurls firmly on Mitchell's improvisatory turf. On The Ritual And The Dance the representatives of two generations of Chicago's AACM combine in a single 36-minute outpouring recorded in Antwerp in 2015, likely during dates to promote an earlier duet In Pursuit Of Magic (482 Music, 2014). It begins with Mitchell's coiled squeaks, ...

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Album Review

Nate Wooley / Liudas Mockunas / Barry Guy / Arkadijus Gotesmanas: Nox

Read "Nox" reviewed by John Sharpe


Nox presents a four-piece uniting two of Lithuania's finest improvisers, reedman Liudas Mockunas and drummer Arkadijus Gotesmanas, with two world class instrumentalists, trumpeter Nate Wooley and bassist Barry Guy. Recorded at the 2019 Improdimensions Festival in Vilnius, the limited edition LP (also available as a download) contains three collectively sculpted tracks, demonstrating a unity of purpose which belies their off-the-wall genesis. Gotesmanas' spare non-metric clatter and acute punctuation plays a defining role, enabling a transparent sound which ...


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