Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sonny Sharrock - Ask The Ages

It's Sunday, the Sun is out, and I'm somewhat hungover after an epic night. Avant garde jazz wouldn't usually be my first choice in this situation, but right now, this album is perfect.

Sonny Sharrock was a guitarist who had been involved with the avant garde scene from the 60's, and really was one of the few guitarists into the style from the beginning. He plays with distortion, ranging from soft and buttery, all the way to screeching noise freak-outs. His use of distortion, and more importantly his tone, is the perfect tool for him to achieve the two extremes of the avant garde sound; the soft, sentimental moments of calm, and the fiery outbursts of energy, a la free jazz. Helping him on this, the last album released during his lifetime (1991), is the great Pharoahe Sanders (Sharrock played on his '67 album Tauhid) and Elvin Jones, as well as Charnett Moffet on bass, who I'm not too familiar with, but fairly impressed by.

Ask The Ages

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