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Country : United Kingdom Label : Indépendant Genres and styles : Contemporary Year : 2020
Samuel Sharp

Fireworks From The Tower

· by Rupert Bottenberg

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November,” goes ye olde English folk verse, the one about high treason and hanging the Pope. Saxophonist and sound manipulator Samuel Sharp certainly remembers a particular recent Guy Fawkes Night, when he’d been hired to play a high-rise restaurant with a 360° view of the evening’s fireworks throughout London. “Fireworks From The Tower” is an enthusiastic reminiscence, a story told with musical phrases in cascading layers, rather than words, but no less engaging. Scintillating would a suitable qualifier.

Sharp is reinventing himself after a decade or so as a London-based multi-instrumentalist and producer for hire, with an extensive resume of stage and studio session work, and downtempo club tracks on Tru-Thoughts and Tessier-Ashpool. Those were under the pseudonym Lossy; flying solo with just his sax and his laptop now, he’s reclaimed his given name, and invested himself in formulating a distinctive personal voice. He comes forward with the candor and eloquence of a jazz player, the architectural inclinations of the minimalist composer, a club DJ’s intuition for a good groove, and a storyteller’s crowd-pleasing élan.

The second track, “Longdown Hill”, recalls not a moment but a place, a stretch of rural road to the west of London. It’s one that a much younger Sharp drove regularly for a year, through all four seasons, and he offers a sympathetic salute, sketched out in strokes of harmonious delay. At the time of this writing, the piece feels resolutely autumnal; repeat road tests in the months to come may reveal otherwise. In any case, the two tracks with which Samuel Sharp announces himself are just a teaser for a full album expected next spring. The anticipation will make winter’s miseries more tolerable.

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