Sonny Sharrock

The best example of the crossover of free jazz to rock and roll. Born Warren Harding Sharrock in Ossining NY, 1940 and died in 1994 (before I was able to see him perform live, alas). Sang doo-wop in the 50's and taught himself how to play the guitar. Played free jazz in the mid 60's with Pharoah Sanders and others. Also played with Herbie Mann, Don Cherry, and Wayne Shorter. Came to greater prominence in the 80's and 90's due to his influence on experimental rock and roll (i.e. Sonic Youth and other "noisy" bands) and his association with the Axiom label and Bill Laswell. One of the first jazz guitarists to embrace electronic distortion and phrase sampling technology. I am most familiar with his 1991 album "Ask the Ages" on the Axiom label. This is a phenomenal album recorded with Pharoah Sanders, Elvin Jones, and Charnett Moffet, probably the high point of his career and his recognition as a primary mover of free jazz and a seminal influence of the music of late 20th century.