Paris Transtlantic review by Jason Bivins

Elliott Sharp Trio – AGGREGAT (CF 250)
Aggregat is an hour from the latest iteration of E#’s trio, this time featuring the leader / guitarist bringing his tenor and soprano (but no clarinet) along for the ride, in the company of bassist Brad Jones and the increasingly ubiquitous (and deservedly so) Ches Smith on drums. It’s an inconsistent set to my ears. The loping, slightly sour “Nucular” opens the album, its slow clattery groove a nice platform for Sharp’s little bursts and curlicues. We hear a similarly rangy mid-tempo stroll on “Hard Landing,” but it starts out with spindly guitar that revs up into crazed distorted shred, almost as if Sharp has been cross-breeding No Wave with Orthrealm. Back and forth the pieces go between flinty guitar trio tracks and often uncertain horn pieces like the stuttering soprano piece “Mal Du Droit” or the uninvolving “Estuary.” I’ve never been able to warm to Sharp’s horn work, though I know he’s got technique. Even on his main axe, he often seems to want to do too many different things too much of the time. Even on skronky tunes like “The Grip” I don’t feel it unless I concentrate heavily on the rhythm section. There are moments on the guitar to be sure, and it sounds as if Sharp has slightly reconfigured his guitar style so that it juts midway between early Sharrock and 1990s Cline. But aside from some lusty tenor shrieks on “Allelia,” a pleasing bounce knit throughout “Gegenschein,” and some fractal guitar madness on “Refractory,” I find this disc largely unmemorable.
http://www.paristransatlantic.com/magazine/monthly2012/06jun_text.html#4

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