182

Elliott Sharps Terraplane: Secret Life

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
: Secret Life 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, tend to exhibit a gleeful freedom, further evidencing their postmodernist origins.

Sharp's approach of choice involves sliding a smooth surface over a stringed instrument. He is a slide guitarist on the order of Sonny Landreth, and a lap steel guitarist like Cindy Cashdollar. Sharp shows no fear in his attempts to summon what sounds from the instrument he can. He is careful to use precise engineering to do so, and the recording benefits from his efforts.

The songs collectively make up a free jazz tone poem. Individually, they are vignettes, passing musical thoughts reflecting convergent emotions. "The Say We Is is a Howlin' Wolf "Spoonful stroll propelled by Sharp's straight guitar playing. "Edifice Wrecked has a dirge-like construction reminiscent of a John Lee Hooker single-chord drone, except that its harmony is not based on a single chord. The drumming is primal and the reeds are noisy in a manner that's more pleasant than the approach of Archie Shepp or Sam Rivers. "On Down (as on the opener, "Highway Null ) has a down-home acoustic slide guitar feel. Sharp coaxes natural harmonics from the guitar.

Elliott Sharp is the guitar equivalent of John Zorn. That is fitting, as the two are friends and collaborators. Secret Life is a fine addition to the Elliott Sharp library. This is forward-thinking music which looks backward for inspiration.


Track Listing: Highway Null; Clandestiny; Take My Leave; Nobody Know; Blue State; USA Out of NYC!; Prime Crime; Crackertown Two-Step; They Say We Is; Edifice Wrecked; On Down.

Personnel: Elliott Sharp: guitars, tenor saxophone; Lance Carter: drums; Curtis Fowlkes: trombone; Alex Harding: baritone saxophones; David Hofstra: bass; Eric Mingus: vocals; Tracie Morris: vocals; Hubert Sumlin: guitar.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Intuition | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "El Toro" CD/LP/Track Review El Toro
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Doug Collette
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Confirmation" CD/LP/Track Review Confirmation
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "More Figs And Blue Things" CD/LP/Track Review More Figs And Blue Things
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Elevation" CD/LP/Track Review Elevation
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Of the Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Of the Tree
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!