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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

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 ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Collaborative Jazz Trio Multi Mansions Releases Its Debut Album, Vehicles, On May 8th

Vehicle (noun) a thing used to express, embody, or fulfill something. The collaborative Avant-jazz trio, MULTI MANSIONS, are releasing their debut album, vehicles, on Earth Day 2020 to all streaming and digital platforms. A band that started as a sonic homage to late great Avant-guitar hero Sonny Sharrock, MULTI MANSIONS’ debut showcases a band poised to ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Harriet Tubman at SFJAZZ

Read "Harriet Tubman at SFJAZZ" reviewed by Harry S. Pariser

Harriet Tubman SFJAZZ San Francisco, CA January 23, 2020 The electric bass, electric guitar and drum trio Harriet Tubman stands apart in the music world. As guitarist Brandon Ross notes, they are electrified yet based on spiritual influences such as the late Alice Coltrane, the late John Coltrane's wife who ran ...

ARTICLE: IN PICTURES

Sonic Explorations and Creative Improvisations at The Guelph Jazz Festival

Read "Sonic Explorations and Creative Improvisations at The Guelph Jazz Festival" reviewed by Dave Kaufman

In North America, there are over 100 annual jazz festivals. Only a small number of these festivals are devoted to the avant-garde, adventurous, and freely improvised music. The Vision Festival in jny: New York City is perhaps the best known festival with its celebration of improvised music, dance, and poetry. There are a few others that ...

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Mike Lorenz

Read "Take Five With Mike Lorenz" reviewed by Mike Lorenz

Meet Mike Lorenz: Mike Lorenz, guitarist/ composer/ educator, hails from Bethlehem, PA where he is a member of the music faculty at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts. For over a decade, Mike has kept a busy schedule as a freelancing performer, leading his trio/quartet in performances up-and-down the Northeast Corridor. He holds ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Guitarist Mike Lorenz & The Witherbees Release Their Debut, Self-Titled LP

Guitarist Mike Lorenz & The Witherbees Release Their Debut, Self-Titled LP

This summer, the Philadelphia area folk-jazz band, Mike Lorenz & the Witherbees, are releasing their first LP of new original music and folksy covers. Following up on the release of the digital single “When the Stars Go Blue,” this release encapsulates all of the group’s unique tastes and sonic trajectories. The band celebrated their release with ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Maleem Mahmoud Ghania & Pharoah Sanders: The Trance Of Seven Colors

Read "The Trance Of Seven Colors" reviewed by Chris May

Producer Bill Laswell gets a bad rap in some quarters, and sometimes he deserves it. During his mid 1980s through mid 1990s purple period, Laswell tended to apply, some would say impose, a one-size-fits-all, avant-rock-and-funk formula across the board to the projects he took on. It was novel and radical and compelling and Laswell assembled a ...


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