Linda Sharrock

Linda Sharrock & The Three Man Band

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The Three Man Band referred to in the title is made up of bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, reed and electronics wunderkind Wolfgang Pusching, and drummer Frank Samba. This trio finds themselves backing the once terrifyingly raw and primal Linda Sharrock. The years have mellowed Sharrock. She is no longer the free jazz Amazon who could shatter glass or eardrums at 40 paces. The music she plays with Wolfgang Pusching regularly, and with Samba and Tacuma here, is a mixture of jazz, funk, abstract electronic sound sculpture, urbanized noir histrionics, and textured soundscapes. Sharrock has become, as evidenced on "The 39 Steps," "World Apart," and "Linda," which are the only tracks she appears on here, a fine and disciplined vocalist. She doesn't worry as much about expressing her full range as she does about expression, diction, and the pure musicality of the phrase. Her backing band could hardly be more musical if a little overly frenetic, but they are fine foils for each other, all of them hyper kinetic trying to slow the others down. The best cuts here are "39 Steps" and Pharaoh Sanders' "Japan," which features one of the most intricate bass solos of Jamaaladeen Tacuma's career. His is a driving sound; as much a pacemaker sound as a harmonic one. He accents, pulses, pushes, and punches a tune along and carries Samba most of the way. Also notable is the street-wise groover of "And a Different Shape," which is a long prelude to a short version of Buddy Miles' "Them Changes." This is a tough little record, one that never lets up in its drive and funky grit.

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