Elliott Sharp & Carbon


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One of Sharp's earlier releases, Carbon features his group of the same name on six urban/tribal explorations of the difficult-listening variety. While not as prolific or original as his contemporary, John Zorn, Sharp still impresses here with a fine mix of diffuse ramblings, clanging improvisation, and a measured dose of humor. He ranges from almost free-form cuts like "Helicopters" to semi-composed outings like "Iso" and the almost-ambient closer "Inverse Proportions." Sharp's guitar work takes more of a supportive role here, leaving plenty of space for his various turns on the trombone, saxophone, and clarinet. This one will please fans, no doubt, but probably is not the best place to start for the Sharp newcomer.