Ask the Ages isn’t an album; it’s a trip you take, an experience you endure, a wall of noise that swallows every free jazz album in its wake. It’s a masterpiece, front to back, maybe the best jazz album of the ‘90s and definitely the best free jazz album of all time. Featuring Sharrock’s interstellar guitar playing, Pharoah Sanders blowing like a maniac, Elvin Jones drumming like each Tom is a boxing opponent, and Charnett Moffett puncturing things with his bass, it’s an album we here at VMP can’t recommend enough.
Because the album came out in 1991--it was, unfortunately, Sharrock’s final album, as he died in 1994 due to a heart attack--it had never been on vinyl anywhere until a recent reissue in the U.K.. However, VMP is pleased to announce this: the first U.S. pressing of Sonny Sharrock’s masterpiece, and for the first time ever, the album comes complete with its original art. New lacquers were cut for this reissue by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound, and is being pressed at QRP in Kansas on 180-gram red vinyl. It’s limited to 2000 copies.
If you haven’t listened to Ask the Ages and are curious, pay your respects here: