Elliott Sharp's Terraplane
"SKY ROAD SONGS"
special guest: Hubert Sumlin
E# - mandocello, electric guitar, electronics
Joe Mardin - vocals, drums, bass, chank guitar harmonica
Tracie Morris - vocals
Curtis Fowlkes - trombone
Alex Harding - baritone sax
Dave Hofstra - bass
Don McKenzie - drums
Eric Mingus - vocals
with Hubert Sumlin - electric guitar
Produced by Joe Mardin
1. Outward (Sharp) 2. Endless Path (Morris/Sharp) 3. Down On The Block (Sharp) 4. Dangerous Lands (Sharp)
5. Banking Blues (Mardin) 6. This House Is For Sale (Mingus/Sharp) 7. Fade To Noir (Morris/Sharp) 8. Off The Hook (Sharp)
9. Off My Mind (MIngus/Sharp) 10. I Blame You (Morris/Sharp) 11. The Common Extreme (Morris/Sharp) 12. Sky Road Song (Sharp) 13. Inward (Sharp)
A central figure in the avant-garde and experimental music scene in New York City for over 30 years, Elliott Sharp has released over eighty-five recordings ranging from orchestral music to blues, jazz, noise, no wave rock, and techno music. He leads the projects Carbon and Orchestra Carbon, Tectonics, and Terraplane and has pioneered ways of applying fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetic metaphors to musical composition and interaction.
His collaborators have included Radio-Sinfonie Frankfurt; pop singer Debbie Harry; Ensemble Modern; Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Kronos String Quartet; Ensemble Resonanz; cello innovator Frances Marie Uitti; blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Pops Staples; pipa virtuoso Min-Xiao Feng; jazz greats Jack deJohnette, Oliver Lake, and Sonny Sharrock; multimedia artists Christian Marclay and Pierre Huyghe; and Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians Of Jajouka.
Elliott Sharp's TERRAPLANE synthesizes the intersection of country and urban blues with Mississippi fife & drum bands, post-Mingus/Ayler jazz and the rhythmic force of the groove, from the shuffle to contemporary dance music. Begun in 1991, Terraplane has been through many permutations with a number of guest artists including HUBERT SUMLIN, the legendary guitar innovator and sideman to Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, as well as singer/poets ERIC MINGUS and TRACIE MORRIS.
Terraplane has toured relentlessly throughout Europe with performances at major jazz festivals, at concert halls, theaters, clubs, and on television and radio, building up a large and loyal following..
“Elliott Sharp can be a real noisemaker. The guitarist has teamed with dwellers of outer cosmic space to create some extremely dissonant, in-your-face music. Call it experimental or avant-garde if you like… the man has excellent command of his instrument, but he can be hard to follow.
Up until I heard Sharp's original Terraplane (Homestead, 1994), I had no clue that he could also play the blues. With his electric power trio, the original Terraplane incarnation, he blew through the generations, sliding like Robert Johnson in his kitchen, doing the Texas blues shuffle a la Stevie Ray Vaughan, and so forth. Sharp has an encyclopedic understanding of the blues guitar, including its voice-like phrasing, its elastic intonation, its tension and release, and the all important "cry". He approaches improvisation from a jazz perspective without making the exercise the least bit academic.“
By Nils Jacobson - Pop Matters - 20 February 2008