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Sonny Sharrock

The career of the late Sonny Sharrock is unique in modern jazz. He first aspired as a doo-wop singer, determined to take music as his vocation after listening to Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue." Aspired to play saxophone but instead took up guitar in his early 20's due to asthmatic conditions, nonetheless he emulated his guitar styling after the energy players such as Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders. He appeared as a cameo in Mile Davis' "Jack Johnson" album and Wayne Shorter's "Super Nova" album as well. His most notable appearance was his duel with Sanders on "Taulid" and "Izipho Zam." His primal tone with gusto was indeed a one-of-a-kind

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Hear My Train A Comin': The Songs Of Jimi Hendrix

Read "Hear My Train A Comin': The Songs Of Jimi Hendrix" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Hear My Train A Comin':The Songs Of Jimi Hendrix Kevin Le Gendre 240 Pages ISBN: 97818000500143 Equinox 2020 Few artists have burned as briefly and brightly as Jimi Hendrix, the Afro-American guitarist and singer who set the late 1960s alight with his virtuosity and showmanship. Fifty years after he ...

Pharoah Sanders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Feed Your Head

Read "Pharoah Sanders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Feed Your Head" reviewed by Chris May

Fellow tenor-wielding sonic adventurer Albert Ayler famously described his own and Pharoah Sanders' relationships with their mentor John Coltrane thus: “Trane was the Father, Pharoah was the Son, I am the Holy Ghost." The epigram goes some way to capturing the scorched-earth ferocity of much, though not all, of Sanders' music in the 1960s. But Ayler ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Contemptment

Read "Contemptment" reviewed by Mark Corroto

If you followed saxophonist Noah Preminger's early career you might have read an interview where he revealed his fascination with boxing. The fact that he trained in the sweet science for nearly a decade while making music is evident in the pugilistic blues heard on self-released albums Pivot: Live At The 55 Bar (2015) and Dark ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Matt Gold: A Guitarist in Songwriter's Disguise

Read "Matt Gold: A Guitarist in Songwriter's Disguise" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

Combining improvisational concepts with Americana aesthetics is one thing, but enveloping this blend in a songwriter approach is another story entirely. The first concept is common practice these days, the second however represents the unique character which the up and coming jny: Chicago-based guitarist Matt Gold has to offer on his compelling debut effort, Imagined Sky ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

August Birthdays

Read "August Birthdays" reviewed by Marc Cohn

August birthdays this week, celebrating the centennials of Charlie Parker, singer Jimmy Witherspoon and bassist George Duvivier. George only did one session as a leader for a French label, which I have never been able to find. So, we pair him with other August celebrants: Jimmy Rushing, Lester Young, Arnett Cobb and Art Farmer. We also ...

Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun's Atlantic Records differs in one key respect from Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Flying Dutchman, the most prominent labels covered so far in this Building A Jazz Library series. Those labels' discographies consist almost exclusively of jazz. Atlantic had parallel interests in soul and rhythm-and-blues and, later, rock. This had consequences, as ...

Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums

Read "Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums" reviewed by Chris May

There can be little argument that a jazz label ever captured a zeitgeist more completely than Impulse! did during its original 1960s incarnation. In the US, the fight back against white racism was cresting, opposition to the Vietnam war was growing, outrage over the assassinations of figures of hope such as President Kennedy, Martin Luther King ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Muriel Grossmann: Reverence

Read "Reverence" reviewed by Chris May

Since the late 1990s, the Spanish island of Ibiza has been synonymous with two things: electronic dance music and 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine aka MDMA or ecstasy. Austrian-born saxophonist Muriel Grossmann has lived on Ibiza since 2004 and her intense wall-of-sound style of astral jazz suggests she is familiar with both those pillars of Ibizan nightlife. ...

Strata-East: Seizing the Time

Read "Strata-East: Seizing the Time" reviewed by Chris May

Operating on minimum finance and maximum passion, Brooklyn's Strata-East label was a pivotal platform for the spiritual-jazz movement that emerged during the Civil Rights struggle of the 1970s. Its closest contemporary comparator was Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Both were non-profit organisations. The AACM was non-profit by design. With Strata-East, co-founder Charles Tolliver ...


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