Sunday, June 14, 2009



Sonny Sharrock - Ask The Ages

All the other classic albums from various jazz greats are reissued a couple times every decade and available at your local Borders Books & Music.

But no, not so for Ask The Ages. In fact, this shit is downright out of print.

That's because Sonny Sharrock was always a true outsider, more than even any other free jazz musician, really. He cranked out the dopest melodies and made the most awful noises and didn't give a fuck about guitar chops because he really just wanted to be a tenor player instead and he couldn't because of his asthma and such resentment toward one's instrument of choice (or non-choice) is not the sort of thing that is gonna be taught at America's fine institutions of formal music education, mister!

So first of all, he's older-ish. Second, it's 1991 and there are no more AMG 5-star jazz classics at this point (except this one, but nobody knows that.) Dude finally gets his shit together and recruits top jazz heavyweights ELVIN JONES and PHARAOH SANDERS instead of those porn fusion downtown cats he was playing with in the '80s.

Luckily, this was 1991, the year of Nirvana's Never Mind and fucked up primal noise was IN, dogg. Sonny was ballin' groupies and guest soloing on Bush's Golden State LP in no time. And just as the young hipster contingent began to roll in, he fucking died and that's terrible.

I was drumming along with this and then I realized that I can't believe how much I suck, it's true. So I wrote a review of it instead. 'Cause I'm really good at those, right???

Rating: Bill Laswell produces it and it doesn't sound dated at all, amazingly. Right amount of fullness in every perfectly mixed instrument. No shitty guitar tones to be found. Gloriously tasteful overdubs when necessary. Everything that is potentially great about jazz is here and everything that was great about Sonny Sharrock as an artist only enhances that. Balls out, unpretentious, fuckable, suckable. RESPECT.

Download Link: "Who Does She Hope To Be?"... he's on like some Eddie Hazel shit with this one.

2 comments:

Joe said...

Pretty great song, I better hear the rest of this.

Like it more than that album he did with his wife, which is the only other thing of his I've heard.

Leif Garret(t) said...

Yeah, ha. 'Paradise' was the first album I heard by him, too. The first song is cool because of the juxtaposition between the sort of lame funk groove and the completely ridiculous guitar playing. The rest... I dunno. Not a great LP.

His wife is also on his debut 'Black Woman,' though, which is fantastic. Just this half hour blast of total joy. It's definitely on the "free jazz" side of things, but the weirdest thing about the music is that it's so happy and life-affirming, really. RECOMMENDED.