Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Elliott Sharp-Andrea Centazzo, "Snowplow:" Tapestries of Electronics, Guitar and Percussion

If you haven't been paying attention for the last 30 years, you may have missed the development of Elliott Sharp as one of our era's most original avant guitar stylists. Similarly Andrea Centazzo has helped redefine what percussion/drumming can be in improvisatory music. They both think as composers when they improvise, because that is what they are.

Put those two factors together and you realize that a duet between the two artists is a very good idea. How does it work out on the ground, however? Sharp-Centazzo's Snowplow (Ictus 154) is the answer. And it is a lucid one. The album is the result of a fruitful meeting of the two in New York, 2009.

A battery of percussion, Elliot's guitar set-up, and some sort of sampling-filtering software were the raw elements. The improvised duets capture a overall approach, like Jackson Pollock's paintings that continue from the center to the edge of the canvas. The music is full-frame sound painting.

It's not so much a situation where the two get virtuoso hot licks going, two at a time. It's more of an orchestral psychedelic texture going on. And it goes to various good places in ways that make you sit up and listen.

Two titans meet. The sparks fly. Your ears hear. Your spirit soars. That's what this is about.

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