A Guide to the Late Recordings of Experimental Vocalist Linda Sharrock

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

In 1969, the guitarist Sonny Sharrock released his debut album, Black Woman, a searing suite of abstract free jazz meant to convey the nuances of Black womanhood in the Civil Rights era. Though Sonny’s name carried the biggest font on the front cover, the star of the album was his wife, Linda, an experimental vocalist whose primal screams impart despair better than her husband’s instrument. That’s not a knock against him; across this album, his frenetic chords complemented Linda’s voice beautifully. But there was something magical in her performance, the way she captured the rage of an era without speaking any words. The technique became her calling card. She’d slide up and down the scale, her tone pivoting between sorrow, angst, and joy.