Cadence Magazine review by Jay Collins

Elliott Sharp – Octal: Book One (CFG 002)
Where focused on lengthier improvisation in a live setting, is a “live in the studio” venture that consists of eight compositions that serve to ignite Sharp’s thoughts. Instrument-wise, Sharp utilizes a custom-built, 8-string electro-acoustic guitarbass, essentially a guitar with two bass strings. His second release for Clean Feed, after his Monk-centered label debut, Sharp’s program mixes avant, Jazz and Blues with a technical approach that emphasizes his percussives. These traits spring forth on the whirlwind of “Through The Wormhole,” the prickly “Intrinsic Spin” and the frenetic “Antitop and Charm.” Sharp also creates several atmospheric pieces like the swelling “Symmetree” or “Strange Attractor,” that flourish on their drone-like approach thanks to Sharp’s utilization of the e-bow device. Though somewhat part of a whole, as evidenced above, Sharp’s Blues sensibilities are never too far away, feelings which are pinpointed on the countryish Folk of “Modulant” and “Quaternion,” the closing selection that saws and slithers. While (1) might be a more revealing exercise in terms of emotional weight and a developing narrative, presents a variety of scenes in more easily palatable segments that is as good a point as any to witness a truly original instrumentalist at work.
©Cadence Magazine 2008

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