Unsung guitar hero.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 08/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When people speak of guitar heroes, the same names always come up-- Hendrix, Clapton, Page, maybe if you're a bit more adventerous you'll hear McLaughlin, Fripp, Frisell, Howe, etc. But there are some names that don't come up often enough-- one of them is Sonny Sharrock, and as evidence, I present "Seize the Rainbow".
While not my favorite album by Sharrock, it is an extraordinary record, and it certainly shows Sharrock's technique as well as any other album. With a supportive backing band of Melvin Gibbs on bass and Abe Speller and Pheeroan Aklaff on drums (with producer Bill Laswell adding bass to one number), the album slides easily through genres, allowing Sharrock to explode in every direction imaginable.
Certianly opener "Dick Dogs" sets the stage, a pretty straightforwawrd rock piece, Sharrock cuts loose and explodes, totally hanging off the edge by about three minutes into the piece. Quite frankly, if you're not convinced by this point, you'll never be.
The remainder of the album finds Sharrock feeling meditative ("My Song", featuring some of his most passionate playing), melodramatic ("J.D. Schaa", heavily indebted to the free jazz tradition) and goofy ("The Past Adventures of Zydeco Honeycup"), but one thing that is consistent throughout is the high level of musicianship-- Sharrock of course is incomporable, but Gibbs, while mixed a bit quieter than I'd like, is all over the place, hodling down basslines and rhythm effortlessly, often liberating the drummers to pursue a more Rashied Ali-ish approach to timekeeping, with an implied rhythm rather than a directly stated one.
For fans of jazz, rock, or just fine guitar playing, this record is superb, and a bit more accessible than Sharrock's masterpiece ("Ask the Ages"). Highly recommended."
...sonny on fire...
Michael L. Bark | nyc | 12/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Probably the best Sonny record out there (along with 'Ask the Ages,') ...the guitar work is just ridic from beginning to end...BE CAREFULL!!...if you are unfamiliar with Sonny's work, his music can easily spoil you for any artist for a long time, it's almost a religios experience...Play very very loud..."