2021 CD release. Bootstrapping manifests a self-organizing sonic system from nothing. The seed is the impulse, the mechanism is improvisation. Bootstrappers is the name for Sharp's improvising rock trio.
This latest edition of the group features longtime collaborators Melvin Gibbs on electric bass, drummer Don McKenzie, and Elliott Sharp on 6 & 12-string guitars and electronics. The music reflects the classic rock trio filtered through the ethos of cyberpunk, techno, and free jazz: raging, psychedelic, and filled with fantastic extrapolations. One may hear strains of Jimi Hendrix "Band Of Gypsies", Bela Bartok string quartets, and Ornette Coleman's harmolodics.
The history of Bootstrappers begins in 1990, with Sharp, then signed to the California label SST (started by Black Flag's Greg Ginn) calling on the Minutemen/Firehose rhythm section of bassist Mike Watt and drummer George Hurley to play some concerts and record an album mixing studio and live tracks. The gigs and sessions were exhilarating and the results were released as the eponymous album Bootstrappers on the New Alliance imprint from SST. The group played a number of concerts in California (including opening for Joe Satriani!) as well as the Rotterdam Jazz Festival. The next edition of Bootstrappers was manifest in 1994 for the Dossier label in Berlin with the rhythm section of Jan and Tom Kotik on drums and bass. In later versions from then to now, Sharp has called upon various friends and colleagues to take part in bootstrapping. This roster has included Tony Lewis, Anton Fier, Dave Hofstra, Brent MacLachlan, Russ Flynn, Sim Cain, and Andrew Weiss. Future editions of Bootstrappers may see the group expand to orchestral dimensions.
Guitar, Electronics – Elliott Sharp
Electric Bass – Melvin Gibbs
Drums – Don McKenzie
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