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  1. #1

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    Because it's Sunday and listening is a thing.

    ...Miles is Miles, Coltrane is Coltrane, and Sonny Sharrock is Sonny Sharrock. For better or worse, you are your own truth. Likewise, I hate to see soloists thinking onstage. At that point you should only be concerned with feeling. Trying to find places to insert your favorite licks is like painting by numbers: Always correct and always boring. When I'm improvising, I don't want to spend time groping for notes, so I find all of the appropriate scales and modes within a few frets. By starting scales with your left-hand 3rd and 4th fingers, you can minimize your movement' up and down the fretboard. This allows you to concentrate on creating melodies instead of performing gymnastics.
    Remember that your improvisation must have feeling. It must swing and it must have beauty, be it the fragile beauty of a snowflake or the terrible beauty of an erupting volcano. Beauty--no matter how disturbing or how still--is always true. Don't be afraid to let go of the things you know. Defy your weaker, safer self. Create. Make music.
    Sonny Sharrock on types of improvisers, the starting points for improvisation, and freedom. As told to Dannette Hill

    Jazz Guitar Online Feature: Sonny Sharrock: On Improvisation


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  3. #2

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  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by lumena View Post
    'Ask the Ages' is one of the greatest jazz recordings of the last 30 years!

    London Jazz Guitar Society:
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    LJGS on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LDNJazzGuitar

  5. #4

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    yeah man..we've had plenty of sharrock love on this forum...check this thread..pretty recent

    A little Sonny Sharrock this morning...

    enjoy


    cheers

  6. #5

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  7. #6

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    One of my all-time favorites. Hands down. Great thread!
    On the Turntable: Steve Reich - Phases (box set), Fred Frith Guitar Quartet - Ayaya Moses
    Guitar:
    Fender AVRI '59 w/ TI Swing 11s and Tyson Tone pickups
    Through: Polytone Mini Brute II

  8. #7

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    Hey guys, I ask this with the utmost sincerity and respect:

    I listened to 5-10 mins of each of the clips above. This is my first time listening to Sonny Sharrock. I can get into a lot of free and out there stuff, but I don't see the draw here at all. Can someone maybe point out something that I'm missing? To my ears it sounds like a teenager at guitar center.
    White belt
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  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    Hey guys, I ask this with the utmost sincerity and respect:

    I listened to 5-10 mins of each of the clips above. This is my first time listening to Sonny Sharrock. I can get into a lot of free and out there stuff, but I don't see the draw here at all. Can someone maybe point out something that I'm missing? To my ears it sounds like a teenager at guitar center.

    In great humbleness I will attempt to help answer this. I sometimes forget that I have spent a lot of time listening and enjoying very outside music.
    So first here is a link to an article that will help you find some things to compare and understand.
    Forgotten Heroes: Sonny Sharrock’ s Footprints on the Moon | Premier Guitar
    Good link here as mentions lots of things to look and listen at.

    Here is something also to listen to with Sonny as a sideman, if you can put that type of box around artists playing in this type of situation.


    So yesterday and today I am lost in Ascension by John Coltrane. So I was reading the album notes and this is verbatim....

    To begin at the beginning, a caveat for the casual listener. Be advised that this record cannot be loved or understood in one sitting, and that there can be no appreciation at all in two minutes listening to an arbitrary excerpt in a record store. IN fact, there is no casual approach to be taken to this record. It is truly modern: it is as advanced as the most advanced contemporary jazz is and the communications scene being as retarded as it is, the kind of even which Ascension is will be unfamiliar to anyone who has not made it a serious avocation to search out and understand new jazz.
    What this is, is a plexus of voices, all of different kinds but most belonging to that generation which grew up on Mingus, Monk, Taylor, McLean, Coleman, Coltrane the human rights struggle and nuclear weapons... 1965 Ascension - John Coltrane, liner notes by A. B. Spellman


    that is the first paragraph of the liner notes.

    So for me I am hearing something in Sonny Sharrock like this and see Sonny's playing as an open window that current artists like Julian Lage and Mary Halvorson or slightly older ones like Henry Kaiser or Fred Frith - all found and jumped out of, and are making fresh new jazz today.

    For my interest he's historical and his lack of tameness in his playing is like abstract art - many people don't like it and even though it is quite old still seems like a real break from what many are used too. No one is right or wrong and every opinion is correct.

    I really want to thank you for actually taking time to listen to the pieces posted and I have great respect your honesty and willingness to speak up.

    Last bits....
    Listen to Sun Ra and Pharoah Sanders! and think about how seldom a guitarist was allow to share the rarefied air of this type of jazz.

    one more link - has lots of links to Sonny including the Space Ghost soundtrack he did.
    PREPARED GUITAR: Sonny Sharrock: ON IMPROVISATION

    Sonny Sharrock-sonny-sharrock-02-1988_01-jpg

  10. #9

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    Thanks, Lumena!
    White belt
    My Youtube

  11. #10

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    on a related note..so sad that the great prepared guitar website is no longer being updated...(i believe due to illness)...still a treasure trove of info tho...

    PREPARED GUITAR

    cheers

  12. #11

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    I can't explain why I like this music. I've been listening to it for about 50 years. It's a feel thing.

    I also like a lot of other types of music. I like Pat Martino for EG. I'm equally unable to say why exactly.

    Maybe I just have a soft-spot for Sonny because I had my amp unplugged by an angry club owner in '72 when I started going to similar places. I like to think of that now. Seems almost like a badge of honor to me. Kinda funny really.

  13. #12

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    So I found this Herbie Mann album in a store somewhere back in the early 70s when I was trying to learn about jazz. I had no clue who Sonny was, and what I was about to hear.


  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    Hey guys, I ask this with the utmost sincerity and respect:

    I listened to 5-10 mins of each of the clips above. This is my first time listening to Sonny Sharrock. I can get into a lot of free and out there stuff, but I don't see the draw here at all. Can someone maybe point out something that I'm missing? To my ears it sounds like a teenager at guitar center.
    Haha! I've always felt the same thing, only I won't apologise for it .

  15. #14

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    Agree with a lot of the sentiment above. Sonny's absolute belly full of fire is what does it for me. He did a duet album with Brotzmann and I think they share a lot, even with the Europe/U.S. free scene divide. Just raw power.
    On the Turntable: Steve Reich - Phases (box set), Fred Frith Guitar Quartet - Ayaya Moses
    Guitar:
    Fender AVRI '59 w/ TI Swing 11s and Tyson Tone pickups
    Through: Polytone Mini Brute II

  16. #15

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    I would play Last Exit when my Deadhead college roommates were going overboard with the Dead bootlegs. It always led them to turn it down.

  17. #16

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    Sonny was supposed to play a New Haven street festival but ended up getting stuck in traffic and did not show up. A little while later he passed. I was always sad I never got to see him in person. Ask the Ages and Faith Moves with Nicky Skopelitis are my favorites. His guitar tone on his Les Paul is truly a thing of beauty.