SONNY SHARROCK

Avant-Garde Jazz / Eclectic Fusion / Jazz Related Soundtracks / Jazz Related Rock • United States
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Sonny Sharrock (Warren Harding Sharrock; August 27, 1940–May 25, 1994) was an American jazz guitarist. He was once married to singer Linda Sharrock, with whom he sometimes recorded and performed.

One of few guitarists in the first wave of free jazz in the 1960s, Sharrock was known for his incisive, heavily chorded attack, his bursts of wild feedback, and for his use of saxophone-like lines played loudly on guitar. He had in fact wanted to play tenor saxophone from his youth after hearing John Coltrane play on Miles Davis' album Kind of Blue on the radio at age 19, but his asthma prohibited it. However Sharrock had repeatedly said that he still considered himself "a horn player with a really f***ed up axe."

Sharrock began his musical career singing doo wop as a teenager. He worked with Pharoah Sanders and Alexander Solla in the late 1960s, appearing first on
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Ask the AgesAsk the Ages
Axiom 1991
$16.79 (used)
Black WomanBlack Woman
Limited Edition · Remastered
Wea Japan 2013
$59.88
$27.87 (used)
Seize the RainbowSeize the Rainbow
Enemy 1992
$149.95
$49.00 (used)
Faith MovesFaith Moves
Creative Music Prod. 1994
$14.29
$2.98 (used)
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SONNY SHARROCK Discography

SONNY SHARROCK albums / top albums

SONNY SHARROCK Black Woman album cover 4.20 | 5 ratings
Black Woman
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
SONNY SHARROCK Monkey - Pockie - Boo album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Monkey - Pockie - Boo
Avant-Garde Jazz 1970
SONNY SHARROCK Paradise (w/ Linda Sharrock) album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Paradise (w/ Linda Sharrock)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1975
SONNY SHARROCK Dance With Me Montana album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Dance With Me Montana
Eclectic Fusion 1986
SONNY SHARROCK Guitar album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Guitar
Avant-Garde Jazz 1986
SONNY SHARROCK Seize the Rainbow album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Seize the Rainbow
Jazz Related Rock 1987
SONNY SHARROCK Highlife album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Highlife
Avant-Garde Jazz 1990
SONNY SHARROCK Ask the Ages album cover 4.65 | 11 ratings
Ask the Ages
Eclectic Fusion 1991

SONNY SHARROCK EPs & splits

SONNY SHARROCK Space Ghost: Coast To Coast album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Space Ghost: Coast To Coast
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1994

SONNY SHARROCK live albums

SONNY SHARROCK Live in New York album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in New York
Avant-Garde Jazz 1989
SONNY SHARROCK Fragments (with Peter Brötzmann) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fragments (with Peter Brötzmann)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2003

SONNY SHARROCK demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SONNY SHARROCK re-issues & compilations

SONNY SHARROCK Into Another Light album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Into Another Light
Avant-Garde Jazz 1996
SONNY SHARROCK Black Woman / Freedom Sounds album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Black Woman / Freedom Sounds
Avant-Garde Jazz 2001

SONNY SHARROCK singles (0)

SONNY SHARROCK movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

SONNY SHARROCK Reviews

SONNY SHARROCK Ask the Ages

Album · 1991 · Eclectic Fusion
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BlueNote
Sonny Sharrock was such a great guitar player. According to wikipaedia, he considered himself to be a horn player with "one fucked-up axe" - this description sums up his style very well. But don't worry, even though his other quote says his main intention was to make first four rows bleed from their ears, his music is certainly not cacophonic. There are only a few moments that could cause some harm to your sense of aesthetics (it's still avantgarde after all), but it's so sensitively executed you're going to love them anyway.

Ante Scriptum: This is kind of an experiment, since I'm going to describe the songs as I listen to them. Free jazz deserves free writing, doesn't it?

Album opens with a swift number called Promises Kept. We are quickly told what I tried to say in the first paragraph, only with music. Apart from Sharrock's guitar, other notable moments are bass and drums solo.

Then we're going to calm down a little with Who Does She Hope To Be - a slow one for a change. Being a guitarist myself, I cannot but admire the timbre of Sharrock's guitar in this composition. Those familiar with Santana, Beck or even Clapton: You might think of them during your listen.

Little Rock comes next, marking a return to the territory of the first track. The territory of fast rhythms and beautiful tone of Sharrock's guitar. I like those moments when he gets stuck a little bit - not only they prove this is fully improvised, but for the good of us, guiarists, it also proves he's human.

As We Used to Sing reminds me of Zappa a little bit, listen to the intro and you'll know why. Sharrock's guitar enters like some kind of hurricane - it blows, rumbles and turns, while allowing you to accompany it to a heavenly beautiful eye of the tornado. Sax comes next in a similiar fashion and drums and bass take over the role of the rumblimg typhoon. Next, next comes the soothing and calming sound of the wind, that's blown away all its crushing might. And the bass takes us elsewhere...

Beginning with a drum solo, next comes Many Mansions. It kind of reminds me of a hellmarch, don't ask me why. Also, do I here some Mingus over here? Yeah, Mingus' big band marching in the underworld, that might be it. Saxophone is wild and the rhythm is very unusual and somewhat stucky. Like when you play a CD and you quickly press play and pause all the time. Sharrock comes in the next bit of this track showing us how well he can deal with this kind of atmosphere. His playing here must've influenced many hard prog guitarists.

Like a monk playing in some ancient monastery, drummer begins the last number once more, it's called Once Upon A Time. His solo is very coulourful and full of exotic feeling. Sharrock enters soon with a tenderhearted motif, accompanied by the sax. Compostion starts to sail into the waters of nostalgic ballad, bidding farewell to old memories and maybe even the listener himself. It's executed very cleverly - with somewhat frenetic drum ostinato and calm and melancholic playing of both lead instruments. And finally, it all sails away to fade out.

This album is simply great. It's marked as avantgarde but don't let it turn you away if you don't like this genre. It has a beauty to give to anyone.

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