Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Confessions: The Ballade of Linda Sharrock

By Eric Zinman.
First published in FEMEFICATIO UK in 2012.
(originally edited by Kamaria Muntu and Malkia Charlee Martin)

Linda Sharrock is sitting today in a wheelchair after having suffered a stroke. She is disabled from motion and words literally, without action, flabbergasted. She, however, is still on a mission. An eloquent, artistic, and authentic musician who began her career in partnership with jazz guitarist and husband Sonny Sharrock

Her impressive vocals on the album Black Woman produced by Herbie Mann on Atlantic Sub Vortex and released in 1969, heralded the arrival of a cutting edge talent to be reckoned with. She now finds herself embroiled in a complex domestic drama. 

In a fight for her own autonomy, property and the financial wherewithal to heal properly. But even in this tragic complexity which must be sorted if she is to survive. She is yet determined to work, to tour – to reclaim the artist in herself and her place in the world of avant-garde jazz.

Linda and Sonny Sharrock, 1970s
Linda and Sonny Sharrock, 1970s

“America always made it a point to keep the creative arts low down” was a 
phrase I heard during the 60’s ... But I never had a precise idea what the 
expression low down might actually represent until I learned more about it – 
witnessing closely the infamous fate of Linda Sharrock and her literal human, 
physical and artistic destruction ... Now I know.” (Mario Rechtern, musician 
and Linda’s caregiver).