Sonny Sharrock

Below is a selection of albums and tracks from Sonny's repertoire. Click here to view a full discography.

Black Woman

Released May 1969

Even among the countless innovative statements of 1969, Black Woman is unmistakable. Sharrock was a contemporary of Miles Davis, Pharoah Sanders and Wayne Shorter, yet he developed a musical voice entirely outside of the jazz tradition. Like many free-jazz releases of the era, Black Woman is a torrential exploration of blues, gospel and world music forms, but Sharrock's guitar brought the proceedings much closer to rock n' roll than other jazz musicians dared to go.

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Black Woman

Paradise

Released 1975

In the '60s, Sonny Sharrock was one of the top avant-garde guitarist and Miles Davis, Don Cherry and Herbie Mann all made use of his intense and wild playing. This classic album featuring his wife Linda on vocals was originally released on the Atco label in 1975. The duo's free-from avant-garde guitar and vocals are blended with fusion/electric grooves on Moog, Rhodes piano, Clavinet and percussion.

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Paradise

Guitar

Released January 1, 1986

This is pure, undiluted Sonny Sharrock. Taking advantage of the overdubbing process, Sharrock accompanies himself in a series of duets that demonstrate the range of his playing, from menacing to tender. The purity of his tone is both powerful and beautiful. Guitar is a beautiful statement by one of jazz music's most unique voices.

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Guitar

Seize the Rainbow

Released January 1, 1987

The follow-up to Sonny Sharrock's entirely solo comeback album, Guitar, Seize the Rainbow puts the guitarist at the helm of a rock-styled power trio featuring bassist Melvin Gibbs and Abe Speller and Pheeroan akLaff on drums. The overall sound of the album is heavy metal-tinged jazz-rock, though the caliber and taste of the musicians makes it something far more than what rock guitar virtuosos of the period were recording.

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Seize The Rainbow

Live in New York

Released January 1, 1989

Recorded live at the old Knitting Factory in New York City, this disc showcased the late Sonny Sharrock in his garage-y rock band incarnation, a different kettle of fish for those familiar with his earlier jazz roles or his later incendiary work with Last Exit. This album features some amazing guitar playing by Sharrock accompanied by a furious rhythm section featuring bassist Melvin Gibbs and drummers Abe Speller and Pheeroan akLaff.

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Live in New York

Headfirst Into The Flames

Released 1989

Never let it be said that Last Exit didn't take advantage of recording their live shows or playing in front of adoring Europeans. Headfirst kicks off with the brain fry of "Lizard Eyes" only to launch into a Sharrock improv called "Don't Be a Cry Baby, Whatever You Do."

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Headfirst into the Flames

Highlife

Released January 1, 1990

Highlife was Sonny Sharrock's first studio album in three years, and it bore witness to several slight modifications in the guitartist's approach. This album is fascinatingly eclectic and shows a clear, new direction for Sharrock's music.

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Highlife

Ask The Ages

Released August 6, 1991

Ask the Ages is Sonny Sharrock's masterpiece, and sadly it was also the last album he would record. It's the most challenging jazz work he recorded as a leader, and it's the clearest expression of his roots as a jazz player, drawing heavily on Coltrane's modal post-bop and concepts of freedom.

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Ask The Ages