Wednesday, January 05, 2005


Goerge Hurley/Elliott Sharp/Mike Watt = Bootstrappers. Posted by Hello

I'm a long time admirer and advocate of the music of Elliott Sharp. And with the help of eBay I've managed to plug a hole in my collection that dates almost all the way back to when I first discovered his music. And there's something deliciously perverse about reviewing a recording from 1988 to demonstrate how hip and up-to-date I am.

Bootstrappers is long out-of-print (as noted at the fantastic Downtown Music Gallery site). It features a hard-groovin' trio with Elliott Sharp backed up by the Firehose/Minutemen rhythm section of George Hurley and Mike Watt. It's an early iteration of Sharp's unique improvisation vocabulary and a great representation of the sound that I've found so striking over the years. There's some great textures and this is some of the tightest jamming from this period of Sharp's output. I find the end result more satisfying than the follow-up GI = GO from the same trio. It's a good listen if you want to experience the full range of Sharp's output. But if you're unfamiliar with his music and ideas it would be better to start with his more compelling chamber works and large-scale projects that best represent his best ideas. The "rock-cred" short duration burst is fun, but ultimately frustrating as I long to hear larger scale improvisation following up on the brief flashes that this format dishes out.

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