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Suspension of Disbelief

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Album Review

Elliott Sharp is one composer/performer from the "downtown" New York scene who knows no borders — free jazz, funk, blues, contemporary classical, post rock, electronica, and any number of amalgamations of styles crop up in his work. A cornerstone in the composers work, Suspension of Disbelief showcases his virtuosity in every form he adopts, masters, and mutates. The results of this project for John Zorn's Tzadik label incorporate the composer's instrumental skills on electric and acoustic guitars, eight-string guitar-bass, fretless bass, saxophones, clarinets, adapted zither, computers, and analog synthesizer. Heavy deployment of avant-jazz approaches and an overall dark atmosphere on the album comes across like a distorted interpretation of New York electronica and abstract drum'n'bass, as much as the avant-jazz Sharp is best known for. Of the 12 short pieces, standout tracks include "Coil of Ticking Towers"; "Theme Noir"; "Little India"; and the awesome closing track, "His Holy Prepuce," which in many ways summarizes his postmodern approach in one slap of ecstatic, groovy noise.


Born: 01 March 1951 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Elliott Sharp began playing the piano at six. According to Sharp, he was performing concerts by age eight. Sharp claims that his parents wanted him to be both a concert pianist and a scientist. He gave up piano, first in favor of the clarinet and then the guitar. His interest in science led him to build his own effects boxes for the instrument. He became intrigued with all types of experimental music, from contemporary classical to free jazz and sophisticated rock. Sharp studied anthropology at Cornell,...
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Suspension of Disbelief, Elliott Sharp
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