Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sonny Sharrock - Black Woman

As I mentioned in previous entries (I think), I'm tunneling through the vast, dark, jungle of free jazz wackiness - the apparent truest showcase of black musical expression (as well as a trend Miles had no trouble shrugging off in favour of music that doesn't clear banquet halls in under 30 seconds). Hey did you catch the metaphorical use of "dark" and "jungle" in tandem with sentiments for black musicians in that last sentence? Dial 3 if you'd like to paint me a racist. Dial 4 if you're aware of the phenomenon known as 'unfortunate coincidences'.

Bullplopage aside, let's just say it's... challenging to find a foot hold in the murk of free jazz at times. There certainly is appeal, as I've found a lot of enjoyment is derived purely at the sonic force of these musicians, but for all that and a jar of dimes, Sonny Sharrock's '69 debut is in-fucking-credible. A total mindblower here, as well as a perfect balance of melody and blistering improv chaos, with wifey Linda Sharrock screaming, howling, and even singing all over this bad boy. The percussion is pounding and clattering away neat little rhythms and falls into the painfully abstract while the piano dips in and out of nonsense, complimenting Sharrock's fast picked tunefulness and improv alike.
As far as I can tell at this point, the ideal form of free jazz dips it's fingers into the traditional, but always reverts back to the sanity-damaging improv. No damages to Brotzmann and his particular vehicle - it's definitely a vision I enjoy - but man do the more traditional moments compliment the improv (and vice versa!).

Hey, did I mention how much this album rocks? 'Cause it's the bee's knees AND tibia. "Black Woman" sways and shrieks, "Peanut" clamours and smashes, and "Bialero", "Blind Willie", and "Portrait Of Linda" are all just beautiful. Reeks of hyperbole, but I could seriously see this album working it's way into an all-time favorites list some day. Totally awesome stuff.

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha ha...Sonny Sharrock was a black woman.