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Country : Canada Label : Telephone Explosion Genres and styles : Contemporary Jazz / Free Jazz Year : 2022

Jairus Sharif – Water and Tools

· by Frédéric Cardin

Calgary’s self-taught Jairus Sharif has been dragging his sonic verve through the obscure basements of indie music of all kinds for the past twenty years. A solitary trafficker of musical snippets as well steeped in hip hop as in punk or electro, here he is, since the serendipitous purchase of a saxophone during the pandemic, enjoying the exploration of his experimental jazz side. And the result is simply fascinating!

Water and Tools is a hallucinated and hallucinating journey, staging a noisy dreamlike decor that does not omit a few excursions in African moors, all deployed with conviction in a technicolor/psychedelic canvas. It’s like Sun Ra, for a certain mystical effect, but without the kitsch. It could also be a close cousin of Coltrane’s Interstellar Space. Usually a musical hermit, Sharif dares to collaborate this time with keyboardist Maximilian Turnbull from Badge Epoque, U.S. Girls, and Cosmic Range, among others. The adrenaline rushes of the sax, surprisingly well controlled for a guy who’s only been at it for a year and a half, are dressed up in phantasmagorical flows worthy of an old Cronenberg movie soundtrack that would have been composed by Vangelis. The additions of rich digital textures, all by Sharif, fill the sound space like a mad orchestra.

As unlikely as it is admirable, Sharif has just proved that free jazz can be as lyrical as it is relentlessly demanding. Astonishing and stunning.

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