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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Chris Sharkey: In Progress @ The Jazz Café - Jan 24

Chris Sharkey (guitar, programming) & Matthew Bourne (Moog, keyboard)
(Review  by Russell
Gateshead born Chris Sharkey is working towards a commission which will be premiered in April at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival and reprised later in the year at the London Jazz Festival and this ‘In Progress’ event took the form of part performance, part workshop with a Q&A attached.
Guitarist Sharkey made the journey north with fellow Leeds based musician Matthew Bourne. State of the art computer programming, an array of pedals, a network of cables, a vintage, quite possibly priceless, Moog, this wasn’t going to be your regular jazz gig.
And it wasn’t!
Left-hander Chris Sharkey played a plastic body Eastwood Airline guitar. In the Q&A session, Sharkey explained that its wider neck made it more difficult to execute lines at speed. This, he explained, limited his options – as did a built-in random element in the programmed software – which is exactly what he was looking for. Far from a ‘conventional’ guitar sound, Sharkey’s ‘sound world’ interacted with Matt Bourne’s Moog and a recently purchased mini keyboard which, he said with no little self-deprecation ‘required no skill’ to play and was ideal when creating ‘a Ligeti smear’  which he duly demonstrated.Chris Sharkey’s inspiration for his current project came from multiple sources including the work of cultural theorist Mark Fisher and French philosophers of the 1970s. The ‘new’ is what Sharkey was interested in. This Newcastle Jazz Café ‘performance’ could, perhaps, question whether or not the stated objective to create something new actually succeeded. The second installment is scheduled for February 21 which will see Sharkey working with saxophonist James Mainwaring. Admission is a fiver with students getting in for free, eight o’clock start. Russell


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