Few others besides avant-garde composer/instrumentalist Elliott Sharp could record a collection of blues songs and make them sound like a new genre altogether, a sort of blues/folk/jazz/new age sound with droning keyboards, slinky reverbed vocals, sinuous guitar parts, and angstful horns. The album is by turns haunting, sexy, volatile, and soothing
New release on zOaR Bandcamp: Sakuraza - Jim O'Rourke - Elliott Sharp. The 2nd album in the E#@70 series, Sakuraza presents a conversation in sound between two iconoclastic adventurers. O'Rourke and Sharp first met in Chicago in 1989 and their paths have crossed many times since then with a number of collaborations in Japan including guitar trios with Otomo Yoshihide and large algorithmic orchestras. This set of electroacoustic duos was performed in an intimate setting in Kofu, Japan in 2019 with O'Rourke using synthesizers and electronics and Sharp on bass clarinet,Strandberg Boden 8-string, and electronics. The sound ranges from quiet intensity to swirling turbulence unmoored from genre and style.
By the time this was recorded, in 1998, the participants were virtual éminence grises of the downtown New York City scene, but this was the first occasion for the four of them to play together as a quartet (although all but Zorn had been members of Horvitz's band the President). The pieces derive their titles from the addresses of erstwhile performing spaces largely in the East Village and Soho, most of which had their heydays in the loft jazz explosion of the late '70s. All of the cuts are improvised by the group, and the perhaps surprising aspect is how much of the vibe is closer to late Miles Davis than to the free improv aesthetic practiced in the titles' points of reference.
“Working with forces unknown to me has always been an exciting challenge,” says Elliott Sharp, “especially when those forces are in the form of younger musicians, highly skilled and enthusiastic.” For his work with the musicians of the Veni Academy, he chose three previously composed works that would be easily adaptable to a large ensemble whose instrumentation was not the result of prior design plus one newly composed for the occasion. The chosen pieces were based on well-defined processes that made use of instant decision-making on the part of both the players and the conductor, and finally, some graphic notation. Composed in 2003 for string quartet, The Dispersion of Seeds uses a simple algorithm of arpeggiation of nine chords throughout its arc to create shifting verticalities. The piece would be different with every performance yet would retain its distinct identity.
Saadet Türköz’s influences spread far and wide. Born in 1961, the singer grew up on the Bosporus where Europe and Asia meet. Her ancestors were nomads who migrated from Semey in Kazakhstan to East Turkestan from where they fled via India and Pakistan to Istanbul. But Istanbul, international city, modern metropolis and history-laden cultural crucible, is not the only place to have influenced her.