Elliott Sharp Aggregat
Brad Jones (b), Ches Smith (d), Elliott Sharp (sax), Nate Wooley (t), Terry L. Green (tb),
Also Available on iTunes
The first Aggregat edition was a rather conventional trio with a hard bop matrix, something very unusual when the leader is someone like Elliott Sharp. Yes, the guitarist who, in “Sharp? Monk? Sharp! Monk!”, brought back Thelonious Monk’s jazz to the avant-garde, but is generally committed to a syncretic mix of urban idioms going from blues and rock to contemporary writing and experimental procedures. In that first recording, titled as the name of the present band, he played mostly saxophones (tenor and soprano) and bass clarinet, only occasionally fingering his first instrument.
Now, the guitar vanished, and Sharp focuses only on the reeds, showing that he’s equally competent soloing with those tools and revealing unexpected references in, guess who, Sonny Rollins. And now, the trio extended to a quintet, adding two brasses (played by Nate Wooley and Terry Green) and reinforcing the jazz feel. The novelty doesn’t finish here: if the philosophy behind this project goes around the idea of aggregation, a sonic unity in which the collective effect and the individual constituents don’t conflict, we find him, surprisingly enough, dealing with lots of space. There’s more timbres and combinative possibilities in the wider palette of sounds, but Elliott Sharp choose to open things up and letting the air come inside the music. The man keeps intriguing us, on and on.