Recent Past Concert Dates:
March 18, 2011 Quantum Trio at Zumix, East Boston, MA -Michael Shea-keyboard/piano, Hilary Noble-tenor sax, flute, congas, Dennis Warren-drums, timbales
Quantum Trio Session 3 at Lily Pad , December 4, 2010
Live @ Brecht Forum NYC, March 21, 2010: Tor Snyder-electric guitar, Jamal Moore-flute, tenor saxophone, Ras Moshe-tenor saxophone, flute,
Vattel Cherry- acoustic bass, Dennis Warren-drums
Chris Chalfant-piano & Dennis Warren-drums :New'd Music CD Release concert @ Brecht Forum, NYC October 24, 2009
Chris Chalfant-piano & Dennis Warren-drums :New'd Music CD Release concert @ Lily Pad October 10, 2009
FMRJE in Quantum Jams II @ Lily Pad October 10, 2009
FMRJE Quartet @ 119 Gallery, Lowell, MA USA June 20, 2009
Quantum Jams Late Night at Lily Pad, April 11, 2009
FMRJE at Lilly Pad, Cambridge, MA August 2, 2008
October 5, 2007 FMRJE at Bennington College 75th Anniversary
FMRJE at Lilly Pad, Cambridge, MA March 25, 2006
FMRJE at Zeitgeist Gallery May 7 , 2005
Zeitgeist Gallery, Cambridge, MA September 19, 2004
at Gallery X, New Bedford, MA, U.S.A. September 15, 2004
Zeitgeist Gallery, Cambridge, MA April 3, 2004 / December 3, 2003
The Uptown , Kingston, NY
October 3, 2002
Autumn Uprising Music Festival
Institute for Contemporary Arts
Boston, October 5, 2002
Mama Gaia's Cafe
September 12, 2002
January 22, 2002
December 4, 2001
Knitting Factory Soundstage
March 8, 2001
April 8, 2001
Johnny D's Uptown Music Club
April 18, 2001
Fly Wheel Comunity Arts Center
April 21, 2001
Flynn Space, Burlington, VT
November 11, 2000
Drimala Records/RI Soundtime 2000 Music Festival
at ASA 220, Providence, RI
September 10, 2000
"End the of Century Jams" at Johnny D's Uptown Music Club
November 10, 1999
"End of the Century Jam" Series at Knitting Factory
October 10 & 24 1999"
Knitting Factory Main Space, July 13, 1999
Knitting Factory Main Space, February 7, 1999
Johnny D's Uptown Music Club, Davis Square, Somerville, MA
February 10, 1999
Burlington Music Conference 98' Burlington, Vermont
Knitting Factory Main Space, NYC, August 20, 1998
Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY, August/September
The Boston Globe Friday May 30, 1997
Celebrating the free spirit of Sonny Sharrock
by Bob Blumenthal, Globe correspondent
The celebration of the guitarist Sonny Sharrock by the Full Metal Revolutionary Jazz Ensemble - which has redubbed itself "Revolutionary and Electric" for the occasion at Johnny D's on Wednesday - is exceptional on two counts. Not only will the evening be a rare tribute to a giant of free jazz, but both the band and venue are uncommonly suited to the task.
Warren "Sonny" Sharrock (1940-'94) was the rare electric guitarist among the avant-garde of the '60s and an inhabitant of early fusion's outer fringe. He worked for five years with Herbie Mann while taking wilder flights on record with Pharaoh Sanders and Wayne Shorter. His own early albums were followed by a decade of silence; then, beginning with his stunning 1985 album "Guitar" and moving through the stop-out cooperative Last Exit and his own bands, Sharrock revealed a more mature eloquence while still sustaining his earlier energy.
'I always felt that this guy was not just cool, but happy inside; that his approach might be strange, but it was him.'
Dennis Warren on Sonny Sharrock
Drummer Dennis Warren, who leads FMRJE, fondly recalls the cathartic surge of Last Exit (with Peter Brotzman's tenor, Bill Laswell's electric bass, and Shannon Jackson's drums as well as Sharrock) at Johnny D's, and the more controlled power of later visits by Sharrock's quintet. "We never played with him, but we went to all his shows," Warren says. "Our guitarist, Tor Snyder, was always a great fan, and would talk to Sonny and give him our tapes. After a set at his last Johnny D's appearance. Sonny gave us the endorsement that we quote on our CDs."
As heard most recently on "Watch Out!" (Accurate), FMRJE is indeed a keeper of the freedom flame. Like Sharrock, Warren's band has learned to shade and shape that freedom through the evocative compositions of trumpeter Raphe Malik and a collective empathy nurtured over a quarter-century. "The band goes back to Antioch College in the early '70s, where Raphe, [alto saxophonist] Tony Owens, percussionist Martin Gil, and I were students," Warren explains, "and carried over to meeting Tor at Bennington College in 1981 and [tenor saxophonist] Raqib Hassan after I returned to Boston." The colleges in question brought the FMRJE under the tutelage of Cecil Taylor, Milford Graves, and Bill Dixon, and the band now creates its own kinetic variant on its mentor's music.
"We're going to play 'Many Mansions' and another cut from 'Ask the Ages' at Johnny D's." Warren says in reference to Sharrock's classic 1990 CD with Sanders and Elvin Jones. "Sonny recorded with Milford Graves and was on the 'Memphis Underground' album with Herbie Mann. He's also supposed to be the mystery guitarist on Miles Davis's 'Jack Johnson' album, though John McLaughlin is clearly also on it."
Warren is most impressed with
Sharrock's unshakable personality. "I always felt that this
guy was not just cool, but happy inside; that his approach
might be strange, but it was him. He told us that after
playing for so long, playing had become like talking through
the instrument. What you heard was Sonny Sharrock talking."
The Full Metal Revolutionary Revolutionary and Electric Jazz Ensemble celebrates the life and work of guitar innovator Sonny Sharrock at Johnny D's on Wedenesday June 4.
Boston Globe June 6,1997
FMRJE offers a deep bow to Sharrock
by Bob Blumenthal
Somerville - The Full Metal Revolutionary (and, at least for this night, Electric) Jazz ensemble took its task of honoring the late avant-garde guitarist Sonny Sharrock seriously. The first set included remarks on Sharrock's importance by critic Stu Vandermark, remembrances by band members of encounters with the guitarist when he played Johnny D's and acknowledgment of Sharrock's daughter Jasmine, who attends Northeastern . There was also some fine music in what might be called modified Full Metal style.
Guitarist Mike Sealey and rapper-percussionist James Kelly were added to the usual FMRJE lineup, generally to good results. There was really no need for Kelly's occasional percussion inserts, since the team of drummer Dennis Warren and conga drummer Martin Gil were at their most freewheeling, with dense polyrhythms that sometimes threatened to overwhelm the horns. Sealey, however, was an ideal guest. His weighty tone and melodic inclinations contrasted with the more mobile and texturally diverse interjections of regular FMRJE guitarist Tor Yochai Snyder. Sealey's passionate inventions paid clearest homage to Sharrock, and often provided the seam running through the collective inventions of the others.
Tenor saxophonist Raqib Hassan provided a similar function in the four-horn front line, with a big sound and a measured development to his improvising that cut through the thick weave of instruments. Hassan was excellent on "D.C.," beginning with restrained anguish while the drummers and Snyder exploded around him, then growing more fluent and heated each time trumpeter Raphe Malik cued the others horns back in for brief collective improvisations.
Malik's own solos displayed precisely articulated passion, plus an attack that rivaled the drummers at times physically. Alto saxophonist Tony Owens was the group's lyricist, his lines slowing, ripening, and merging with the guitars and George Langford, Jr.'s bowed bass on "D.C." Earl Grant Lawrence, on flute and piccolo, added a gentler top layer to the collage passages that contained the harsher angles in the group's music.
"Many Mansions," the one Sharrock original played in the first set, began shakily with ragtag percussion; then Lawrence and the guitarist added a bracing texture, the full band played the theme freely and closer to the FMRJE norm, and Sealey and Snyder worked to an explosive climax with Warren in hot pursuit. Kelly did one rap, which was less memorable than the raw fusion groove that accompanied it and the confident Malik trumpet solo that followed.
While clearly a high-energy band, FMRJE might look for more ways to employ the range of its members' expressiveness. Duet and trio interludes, while admittedly not "full metal," might be one option worth further exploration.