Sonny & Linda Sharrock – Teleport & Time-Warp


Sonny Sharrock was an American guitar-maverick/revolutionary who inspired by the turbulence & absonant progression/permutation of John Coltrane & Ornette Coleman (& others) transfused what is to me the earliest form of Noisecore through the prism of chronic Avant-Garde Free Jazz Expeirmentalism. Imbued by the saxophone as a leading solo instrument, Sharrock created his own approach to the electric guitar, adhering loosely to the same antiphonic expression & intense extemporization as colossus saxophonists in The New Music/Avant Garde. During the mid-sixties he performed in session with Marzette Watts, Herbie Mann, Pharaoh Sanders & incredibly even Wayne Shorter (on 1969’s excellent Super Nova LP) before finally recording his debut as a leader “Black Woman” on the Frisco label “4 Men With Beards” in 68. Sharrock’s indelible supra-progression was largely in his course, anti-phonic, aggressive & ludicrously advanced methodology of guitar playing. At his most abrasive & “out-there” sections of Sharrock’s mid-sixties cacophonic-clarion sound, very literally, like modern-day Noisecore, Extreme Music, Improvisational Noise, Harsh Experimental genres. I find it difficult to overstate his precocity, the guy was there in a developed stage decades before anyone else (certainly to my knowledge) was doing anything like it. again, even comparing these bouts & techniques to neoteric “Noise” assimilating rubrics, this guys ridiculously futuristic & astoundingly-atypical playing style & compositional approach is so far forward it’s hard to believe, & I see his unique innovation & musical hostility as the first incarnation of so much modern “Extreme” music from Metal to Noise & it’s sub-strata’s. Accompanying Sharrock on his initial two major LP’s (1970’s Monkey-Pockie-Boo & 1968’s Black Woman) was his mad-as-a-meat-axe xanthippe lover – Linda, who took the wildest elements of whaling hysterical pseudo-amateur spontaneous banshee scream-core to tremendous levels of severity. I think that Yoko Ono’s “Plastic Band” are supposed to have dabbled in this scream heavy styled Avant shit earlier on (I have actually yet to check that jive out), but this is otherwise the earliest encounter I know of such a massively advanced modern theme pushed to a ludicrous climatic tipping-point. For all the mad screaming-bitch shit to follow over the decades ahead, this was one of the earliest matriarchal-massacres in barely- controlled loony histrionics streaming over the spectator. When combined with Sharrock in full discordant battle mode, joined by either Milford Graves or Jacques Thollot hammering the shit out of their drums with irregular disjointed Tumble-Weed expostulation & either pianist Dave Burrell or Bassist Beb Guerin spilling more gun-powder into the motley, you will be rewarded with one of the most obscene sonic harlequin epidemics in musical history, even by todays margins with all their contemporary super distortions etc. The extent of Sharrock & companies experimentation during that era is unparalleled. Sharrock later joined what threatened to be a noisy Avant super-group Last Exit, with heavy-weights Peter Brotzmann on saxophone, drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson & bassist Bill Laswell, but despite the constant menace of brilliance I find personally that their albums mostly suffer from mediocrity & misfire. Talking strictly from my own opinion, I find Sharrock’s later work (I have not listened to everything yet mind you) much less lacerating in edge & nowhere near as brain-fuckingly bizarre & brilliant as the successful tracks he unleashed as a leader in his early operations which are just incomparable & beyond singular in their futurism. Still, in terms of not so much heralding the future but by occupying it before it’s actually happened, this crazy discordant sunnuva’ bitch & his screaming dame conjured some of the weirdest, most wonderful & intensely unique rumpus & intemperate abandon ever recorded. So many bands now perform in the impression of their tank-tracks, but Sharrock is the precedent originator & holds the first stake to this extreme out-post like no one else I know of.