Sonny Sharrock

Dance With Me, Montana

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The main point of interest of this album is its session date. Recorded in 1982, this is one of the very few documents of the late Sonny Sharrock's playing between his classic work with Pharoah Sanders and Don Cherry as well as on his own and his re-emergence with Last Exit in 1985. Bill Laswell had already utilized his talents on Material's Memory Serves release from the prior year, but here is Sharrock in a simple trio, playing several of the pieces that would become part of his stock repertoire for the remainder of his career. Unfortunately, his bandmates aren't very inspiring and the entire affair is thinly recorded, making this a less-than-rewarding pickup. One can attempt to mentally divorce Sharrock's sound from his surroundings, but even so, he's more workmanlike than ecstatic here and the listener can only scrape together the faintest clues of just how great a guitarist he could be. Even his "Dick Dogs," normally a guaranteed roof-raiser, is dragged down here by some astonishingly leaden drumming, though it also provides some of the leader's best work on the date. Serious students of Sharrock's style will probably want to have this if only to provide a link between his earlier and later playing, but there are many better places to hear his unique genius. Additional warning: This album also contains, arguably, one of the very worst covers in the history of recordings. Be afraid.

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