Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Linda Sharrock - No is No: Don't Fuck Around With Your Women (Improvising Beings, 2014)

Unjustly remembered solely as the wife of the late extraordinary guitarist Sonny Sharrock, Linda Sharrock carves out a unique niche of her own on this album with a vocalizing style born of the free jazz movement of the 1960’s along with aspects of rhythm and blues and gospel music. in 1969, she participated in Sonny’s Black Woman LP, which was a milestone, as her screams, wails and soaring vocalizations brought to the human voice the cries of freedom akin to saxophonists Albert Ayler and Pharaoh Sanders. She has recorded sporadically since then, but generally maintaining a low profile until the release of this fascinating package. The two discs contained within consist of studio and live recordings of collective improvisations, 50 minutes each, with Sharrock vocalizing in the company of Itaru Oki on trumpet and flugelhorn, Mario Rechtern on saxophones, Eric Zinman on piano, Makoto Sato on drums and Yoram Rosilio on bass. The music on both takes is wide open and free, the musicians are respectful to each other but also not afraid to take to the challenge of making things let go and fly. While Linda Sharrock’s vocal power may not be what it once was, it is fascinating to hear her pick her spots, and the use her instrument to the fullest to duck and weave through the assembled instruments and then take command for solo flights of her own. This is true outsider music with perceived boundaries being crossed with ease and then discarded altogether. While she may have been in the background for quite some time, this album and it’s title throw down the gauntlet for women in improvised music and women in general: their time has come. No is No: Don't Fuck Around With Your Women - Improvising Beings

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