Ask the Ages
|Ask the Ages|
|Studio album by Sonny Sharrock|
|Producer||Bill Laswell, Sonny Sharrock|
|Sonny Sharrock chronology|
Ask the Ages (1991) was the last album released by jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock before his death in 1994 (though posthumously released albums followed). It was produced by Bill Laswell and Sharrock, who played with saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, bassist Charnett Moffett, and drummer Elvin Jones.
|The Penguin Guide to Jazz|||
|Spin Alternative Record Guide||10/10|
In a contemporary review for the Chicago Tribune, Greg Kot called Ask the Ages a thrilling and essential album for fans of the guitar: "Despite the volcanic power of his playing, Sharrock's majesty is in the lyricism and warmth he finds in even the most abrasive alleyways." Rolling Stone magazine said it sounded like a "classic free-blowing jazz album from the Sixties had been recorded with the clarity and punch of today's rock". Robert Christgau was less enthusiastic in The Village Voice, giving it an "honorable mention" and sarcastically referring to it as "Bill and Elvin's excellent jazz record". He singled out "Little Rock" as the highlight. In the Pazz & Jop, an annual poll of prominent American critics, Ask the Ages was voted the 15th best album of 1991.
In a retrospective review, AllMusic's Steve Huey cited Ask the Ages as Sharrock's best work, "the most challenging jazz work he recorded as a leader, and it's the clearest expression of his roots as a jazz player, drawing heavily on [John] Coltrane's modal post-bop and concepts of freedom." In the Spin Alternative Record Guide (1995), the record was ranked 88th on a list of the "Top 100 Alternative Albums".
- "Promises Kept" –9:43
- "Who Does She Hope to Be?" –4:41
- "Little Rock" –7:12
- "As We Used to Sing" –7:45
- "Many Mansions" –9:31
- "Once Upon a Time" –6:26
(all compositions by Sonny Sharrock)
- Sonny Sharrock — electric guitar
- Pharoah Sanders — tenor & soprano saxophones
- Elvin Jones — drums
- Charnett Moffett — double bass
- Bill Laswell & Sonny Sharrock — producers
- Huey, Steve. Ask the Ages at AllMusic
- Greg Kot, "Sonny Sharrock Ask the Ages", Chicago Tribune .
- Rucker, Leland (1999). "Sonny Sharrock". In Graff, Gary. MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide (2nd ed.). Detroit: Visible Ink Press. ISBN 1578590612.
- Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (1992). The Penguin Guide to Jazz. Penguin Books. p. 972. ISBN 0140153640.
- Q. London: 84. May 1992.
- Rolling Stone. New York. "Reviews". September 19, 1991.
- Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Sonny Sharrock", "Top 100 Alternative Albums". Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
- The Village Voice review
- Pazz & Jop 1991