Born as Warren Harding Sharrock in Ossining, New York (USA) on 27 August 1940, Sonny Sharrock was an American jazz guitarist. His first wife was singer, Linda Sharrock, with whom he recorded and performed.
Three albums under Sharrock’s name were released from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s: Black Woman (1969), Monkey-Pockie-Boo (1970), and an album co-credited to Sharrock and his wife Linda, Paradise (1975)
After the release of Paradise, Sharrock was semi-retired for much of the 1970s and early 1980s. Undergoing a divorce from his wife and collaborator Linda in 1978, he worked as both a chauffeur and a caretaker for mentally challenged children. At producer Bill Laswell’s urging, Sharrock came out of retirement to appear on Material’s 1981 album, Memory Serves. Starting in 1986, Sharrock was a member of the punk/jazz band Last Exit, with Laswell, saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson.
During the late 1980s, he performed extensively (and occasionally recorded) with the New York-based improvising band Machine Gun, as well as leading his own band. Sharrock flourished with Laswell’s help. Laswell produced most of Sharrock’s later recordings, including the entirely solo Guitar, the “metal-influenced” Seize the Rainbow, followed by one of his more universally accessible albums, Highlife. The latter two were credited to the Sonny Sharrock Band. Sonny said this was his favorite band ever, with Abe Speller on percussion, Lance Carter on drums, Charles Baldwin on bass and David Snider on keyboards. Highlife featured the track Kate (Variations On A Theme By Kate Bush).
This was followed by the well-received Ask the Ages, which featured John Coltrane’s bandmates Pharoah Sanders and Elvin Jones. Sharrock did the soundtrack to the Cartoon Network program Space Ghost Coast to Coast with his drummer Lance Carter, one of the last projects he completed in the studio before his death.
On 25 May 1994, Sharrock died of a heart attack in his hometown of Ossining, New York, on the verge of signing the first major label deal of his career He was 53. He is survived by his second wife, Dannette Hill and their daughter, Jasmyn Sharrock.
- Sonny Sharrock. Wikipedia, retrieved 1 December 2023.