Reviews that mention Elliott Sharp

June 13, 2013

Festival Report:

Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon
By Ken Waxman

Metaphorically and literally the 2013 edition of the Ulrichsberger Kaldeidophon moved further afield than usual for a festival that has taken place annually at the Jazzatelier in this Austrian alpine village of 3,000 inhabitants near Linz. Not only were improvisers from the UK, US, Eastern and Western Europe represented, but for the first time, a concert for clavichord by Japan’s Makiko Nishikaze took place in a restored 14th Century church in Glöckelberg/Zvonkonva, about 10 kilometres away in the Czech Republic. MORE

July 7, 2011

Elliott Sharp

The Age of Carbon
Intakt CD 188

By Ken Waxman

From 1984 to 1991 guitarist/composer Elliott Sharp stood the conventions of rock, improv and notated music on their heads with his percussion-heavy Carbon band. Using overdubs to add greater density to the match of his double-neck guitar and reeds with at least three percussionists, plus brass players, an electric harpist and sampler exponents, he created a sound that was uniquely audacious. This three-CD set captures Carbon’s history. It also suggests why once Carbon solidified into a beat-driven combo, with a sound close to contemporary rock bands, Sharp turned to composing on a larger scale, intimate improvising and his Terraplane blues band. MORE

April 8, 2011

Elliott Sharp

Binibon
Henceforth Records 110

Theatrically gripping and sonically sophisticated, this modern opera by composer Elliott Sharp and librettist/narrator Jack Womack reflects the events surrounding a 1981 killing in New York’s East Village. That flashpoint was the genesis for a musical meditation on Manhattan, where “everyone has a favorite murder”.

Through studio wizardry Sharp creates all the instrumental sounds on reeds, guitars, bass, percussion, synthesizer and programmed samples. With the score providing leitmotifs for the story, Sharp’s instincts are note-perfect, whether backing the narrator’s hard-boiled sardonic drawl with overblown saxophone vibrato à la Harlem Nocturne or using menacing guitar flanges to underline Jedediah Schultz’s dialogue as protagonist Jack Henry Abbott boasting how he can gut a victim while knifing him. Later echoing industrial sound accelerates to synthesizer and drum-beat disco-funk, when waitress Susie (sung by Queen Esther) defiantly describes her street smarts, then in funky R&B mode, vocalizes her view of the tragedy. MORE

February 17, 2011

Baron/Chevillon/Sharp/Vigroux

Venice, Dal Vivo
D’autre Cords doc 5005

Diatribes & Barry Guy

Multitude

Cave 12 Orchestra 1 c12 o 01

With advanced rock-influenced and so-called noise musicians increasingly adding free improvisation to their programs, a new hybrid is being showcased. At the same time the amount of sonic clamor added means that any resulting interpretation has to negotiate a fine line between incoherence and inventiveness. Although the volume of these sessions is somewhat stentorian, and their coherence sometimes spotty, the cleverness of the participants involved helps avoid major pitfalls. MORE

January 18, 2011

Elliott Sharp

Abstraction Distraction
D’autre cordes dac 181

Thomas Ankersmit

Live in Utrecht

CD Ash International 8.8

Two accomplished sound explorers – a veteran New York-based American and a younger Dutch-born, Berlin resident, independently probe the timbral limits of electronically processed saxophones. Both CD’s are engrossing, with the American’s probably more so, since he’s primarily known as a guitarist.

That person is Elliott Sharp, who during the past couple of decades has evolved a individual catalogue of works touching on Blues, Jazz, Rock, Improv, Contemporary Classical and electronic music. He has played solo, in the Terraplane combo and in collaborations with players as different as guitarist Scott Fields, violist Charlotte Hug and turntablist Christian Marclay. Someone who occasionally adds reed lines to his improvisations, on the seven tracks here Sharp concentrates on tenor and soprano saxophone, modulating the woodwind output through computer-processed analog and digital synthesizers and adding drum samples from Joseph Trump, Sim Cain or Tony Lewis. MORE

August 12, 2010

Elliott Sharp

Octal: Book Two
Clean Feed CFG 004 CD

Derek Bailey

Lot 74

Incus CD 57

By Ken Waxman

Respectively the alpha and the omega of guitar free improvisation, the late London-based Derek Bailey (1930-2005) and the very much alive New Yorker, Elliott Sharp, offer two variants on a solo program with these notable discs.

Recorded in 1974, Lot 74, demonstrate Bailey’s mastery of free music, which he had helped midwife into existence a few years earlier. The reissue is particularly notable, because on two tracks he uses an un-amplified 19-string instrument. MORE

August 12, 2010

Derek Bailey

Lot 74
Incus CD 57

Elliott Sharp

Octal: Book Two

Clean Feed CFG 004 CD

By Ken Waxman

Respectively the alpha and the omega of guitar free improvisation, the late London-based Derek Bailey (1930-2005) and the very much alive New Yorker, Elliott Sharp, offer two variants on a solo program with these notable discs.

Recorded in 1974, Lot 74, demonstrate Bailey’s mastery of free music, which he had helped midwife into existence a few years earlier. The reissue is particularly notable, because on two tracks he uses an un-amplified 19-string instrument. MORE

March 1, 2009

United Brassworkers Front

In Between Stories
Evander Music EM 040

Antoine Berthiaume/Elliott Sharp

Base

Ambiances Magnétiques AM 178

Quinsin Nachoff/Bruno Tocanne Project

5 New Dreams

Cristal CD 0824

Michel Lambert-Rakalam Bob Moses

Meditations on Grace

FMR Records CD 256-0108

Face Off –Extended Play

By Ken Waxman

Sonic battles involving musicians who play the same instrument facing off against one another are part of a tradition that goes back to Kansas City jam sessions. This sort of competition isn’t unique to jazz. Probably the first cutting contest took place when one medieval troubadour restrung his lute to best others playing “Greensleeves”. MORE

March 1, 2009

Michel Lambert-Rakalam Bob Moses

Meditations on Grace
FMR Records CD 256-0108

United Brassworkers Front

In Between Stories

Evander Music EM 040

Antoine Berthiaume/Elliott Sharp

Base

Ambiances Magnétiques AM 178

Quinsin Nachoff/Bruno Tocanne Project

5 New Dreams

Cristal CD 0824

By Ken Waxman

Sonic battles involving musicians who play the same instrument facing off against one another are part of a tradition that goes back to Kansas City jam sessions. This sort of competition isn’t unique to jazz. Probably the first cutting contest took place when one medieval troubadour restrung his lute to best others playing “Greensleeves”. MORE

March 1, 2009

Antoine Berthiaume/Elliott Sharp

Base
Ambiances Magnétiques AM 178

United Brassworkers Front

In Between Stories

Evander Music EM 040

Quinsin Nachoff/Bruno Tocanne Project

5 New Dreams

Cristal CD 0824

Michel Lambert-Rakalam Bob Moses

Meditations on Grace

FMR Records CD 256-0108

Face Off –Extended Play

By Ken Waxman

Sonic battles involving musicians who play the same instrument facing off against one another are part of a tradition that goes back to Kansas City jam sessions. This sort of competition isn’t unique to jazz. Probably the first cutting contest took place when one medieval troubadour restrung his lute to best others playing “Greensleeves”. MORE

March 1, 2009

Quinsin Nachoff/Bruno Tocanne Project

5 New Dreams
Cristal CD 0824

United Brassworkers Front

In Between Stories

Evander Music EM 040

Antoine Berthiaume/Elliott Sharp

Base

Ambiances Magnétiques AM 178

Michel Lambert-Rakalam Bob Moses

Meditations on Grace

FMR Records CD 256-0108

Face Off –Extended Play

By Ken Waxman

Sonic battles involving musicians who play the same instrument facing off against one another are part of a tradition that goes back to Kansas City jam sessions. This sort of competition isn’t unique to jazz. Probably the first cutting contest took place when one medieval troubadour restrung his lute to best others playing “Greensleeves”. MORE

October 18, 2008

Carlos Zíngaro/Dominique Regef/Wilbert De Joode String Trio

Spectrum
Clean Feed CF 110CD

ZPF Quartet

Ulrichsberg München Musik

Bruce’s Fingers BF 67

T.E.C.K. String Quartet

T.E.C.K. String Quartet

Clean Feed CF 089CD

Three plus one times two or two plus one times one. These may seem like ambiguous mathematical formulae, but they’re actually the personnel make-up of these exceptional string-informed CDs.

The “one” here, is Portuguese violinist Carlos Zingaro. His associates include three different bassists: American Ken Filiano (on T.E.C.K.), Englishman Simon H Fell (on Ulrichsberg) and on Spectrum, Wilbert De Joode from the Netherlands; two different cellists: London-based Marcio Mattos (on Ulrichsberg) and New York’s Tomas Ulrich (on T.E.C.K.); plus odd-ball instruments – for string groups – of drums (London’s Mark Sanders on Ulrichsberg); acoustic guitar (New York’s Elliott Sharp on Spectrum); and hurdy-gurdy (France’s Dominique Regef on Spectrum). MORE

October 18, 2008

ZPF Quartet

Ulrichsberg München Musik
Bruce’s Fingers BF 67

T.E.C.K. String Quartet

T.E.C.K. String Quartet

Clean Feed CF 089CD

Carlos Zíngaro/Dominique Regef/Wilbert De Joode String Trio

Spectrum

Clean Feed CF 110CD

Three plus one times two or two plus one times one. These may seem like ambiguous mathematical formulae, but they’re actually the personnel make-up of these exceptional string-informed CDs.

The “one” here, is Portuguese violinist Carlos Zingaro. His associates include three different bassists: American Ken Filiano (on T.E.C.K.), Englishman Simon H Fell (on Ulrichsberg) and on Spectrum, Wilbert De Joode from the Netherlands; two different cellists: London-based Marcio Mattos (on Ulrichsberg) and New York’s Tomas Ulrich (on T.E.C.K.); plus odd-ball instruments – for string groups – of drums (London’s Mark Sanders on Ulrichsberg); acoustic guitar (New York’s Elliott Sharp on Spectrum); and hurdy-gurdy (France’s Dominique Regef on Spectrum). MORE

October 18, 2008

T.E.C.K. String Quartet

T.E.C.K. String Quartet
Clean Feed CF 089CD

Carlos Zíngaro/Dominique Regef/Wilbert De Joode String Trio

Spectrum

Clean Feed CF 110CD

ZPF Quartet

Ulrichsberg München Musik

Bruce’s Fingers BF 67

Three plus one times two or two plus one times one. These may seem like ambiguous mathematical formulae, but they’re actually the personnel make-up of these exceptional string-informed CDs.

The “one” here, is Portuguese violinist Carlos Zingaro. His associates include three different bassists: American Ken Filiano (on T.E.C.K.), Englishman Simon H Fell (on Ulrichsberg) and on Spectrum, Wilbert De Joode from the Netherlands; two different cellists: London-based Marcio Mattos (on Ulrichsberg) and New York’s Tomas Ulrich (on T.E.C.K.); plus odd-ball instruments – for string groups – of drums (London’s Mark Sanders on Ulrichsberg); acoustic guitar (New York’s Elliott Sharp on Spectrum); and hurdy-gurdy (France’s Dominique Regef on Spectrum). MORE

July 2, 2008

Franck Vigroux, Elliott Sharp

Hums 2 Terre Signature SIG

About as far away from a standard guitar duo as possible, Hums 2 Terre is a post-modern mash up of timbres, textures and tones stretched to their limits by New York composer Elliott Sharp and French improviser Franck Vigroux. Eschewing formality and melodies, the two frame the 10 sonic duals with minidisks, turntables, computer processing and electronics to trigger warbling pulses and squeaky, pitch-sliding friction.

Sardonically mutating sound samples as well, sampled French and English voices are shaved down to syllabic sound shards. They in turn transform into percussive ostinatos, backdrops for irregular vibrated saxophone trills, piano key fanning or internal string stopping plus guitar flanges that resemble knife-style scrapes or key-strumming harpsichord vamps. In other spots, loops of triggered electronics pulsate and chime until they dissolve into silence. Many tracks postulate a fanciful meeting between sloppy, arena-rock guitar fuzz tones and laboratory-synthesized antiseptic sequenced pulses. MORE

June 27, 2008

Elliott Sharp’s Terraplane

Forgery
Intuition INT 3411 2

Elliott Sharp

Octal: Book One

Clean Feed CFG002

Looking up a definition of polymath in a dictionary should produce a picture of Elliott Sharp. For many years the New York-based guitarist and reedist has been so involved in myriad activities that it’s impossible to classify him. He’s someone whose work encompasses both notated and improvised music, who has composed for large ensembles and small bands, and been involved with electro-acoustic and so-called serious music, plus variants of jazz and rock-blues. MORE

June 27, 2008

Elliott Sharp

Octal: Book One
Clean Feed CFG002

Elliott Sharp’s Terraplane

Forgery

Intuition INT 3411 2

Looking up a definition of polymath in a dictionary should produce a picture of Elliott Sharp. For many years the New York-based guitarist and reedist has been so involved in myriad activities that it’s impossible to classify him. He’s someone whose work encompasses both notated and improvised music, who has composed for large ensembles and small bands, and been involved with electro-acoustic and so-called serious music, plus variants of jazz and rock-blues. MORE

January 15, 2008

Elliott Sharp & Charlotte Hug

pi:k
Emanem 4143

Not your father’s string duo, these 14 gripping, tough and abrasive duets by American guitarist Elliott Sharp and Swiss violist Charlotte Hug shove any memory of Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti or Stéphane Grapelli and Django Reinhardt aside.

Sharp, a polymath, equally comfortable with blues, rock, New music and improv, and Hug, whose associates range from Quebec laptoppist Chantale LaPlante to the London Improvisers Orchestra, do for their popular traditional instruments in the early 21st Century what those other duos did for them in the early 20th – create an up-to-date context for profound improvisation. To that end, while both use electronic to contrapuntally extend the sounds with pulsating wave forms and power-outage-like flanges on the final six tracks, the initial eight improvisations show that contemporary techniques can create almost the same effects acoustically. MORE

November 2, 2007

Elliott Sharp & Reinhold Friedl

Feuchtify
EMANEM 4133

Probably what it could have sounded like when Liszt and Chopin got together after hours over the pianoforte; or how Cage and Feldman exchanged musical concepts in Manhattan cafeterias, Feuchtify is made up of 13 improvisations by composers who are also part of the so-called serious musician world.

Describing Elliott Sharp this way may be a bit of a misnomer. A prototypical New York polymath – who plays soprano saxophone, dobro, electric fretless guitar, eight-string guitar-bass and computer here – Sharp may have an impressive academic background in serious music, but his recorded efforts are more far-ranging. Some of his collaborators include Downtowner par excellence alto saxophonist/composer John Zorn as well as Hubert Sumlin, who played lead guitar for bluesman Howlin’ Wolf. MORE

January 16, 2006

TAMURA+SHARP+KATO+FUJII

In the Tank
Libra Records Libra 104-11

Analyzed like the arrangement of officials in the podium at a Beijing May Day parade, the way the personnel is displayed on IN THE TANK probably means that it’s more Natsuki Tamura’s session than one headed by Satoko Fujii. Usually in the past, his CDs have included broad, near-atonal intervals and harsh, electronic instruments, while hers, although sometimes featuring rock-styled musicians usually encompass classic jazz forms like the piano trio and the big band.

That doesn’t mean that pianist Fujii contributes any less to this aggressive free improv than Tamura, her trumpet-playing husband. Yet when you mix in the contributions of guitarist Takayuki Kato member of the Free Jazz Shibusashirazu Orchestra, who participated in a later Fujii quartet session where she first recorded on synthesizer, and New York guitarist and soprano saxophonist Elliott Sharp, whose eccentric outpourings have ranged from noise-rock to futuristic classical themes, her playing is the most distanced from electronics. MORE

September 11, 2000

CHRISTIAN MARCLAY/ELLIOTT SHARP

High Noon
Intakt CD 063

Gary Cooper must be spinning in his grave like a turntable.

That's because this duo session by Sharp and Marclay -- named for High Noon, the classic 1952 western in which Cooper starred -- isn't a comfy C&W celebration but a face-to-face throwdown by the sort of sonic explorers who populated sci-fi flicks in Cooper's heyday. Worse, not only does Sharp wield an effects-laden guitar like a mean gunslinger -- he probably couldn't properly perform "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin'" if he wanted to -- but Marclay also isn't playing Tex Ritter 78s on his machine, but improvising with it.

MORE