Sharif, Jairus: Water & Tools LP

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The passionate and unclassifiable work of Calgary-based improviser Jairus Sharif embraces each of these definitions of freedom and others, albeit strictly on its own personal and idiosyncratic terms.

Since early 2020, the 34-year-old autodidact has been generating a steady stream of homespun solo recordings that forge unprecedented connections between hip-hop abstraction, cosmic skronk, outsider jazz, and staunch post-punk DIY ethos.

Water & Tools is a dense, contradictory statement with a blustery surface that shelters a soulful heart. It's generous music, exuding profound vulnerability—grappling with the loss of one his mothers, Lisa—all the while brimming with electric wide-eyed wonder.

Almost every one of the nine pieces seems to carry some semblance of a groove, while remaining completely untethered from pulse. At points, there's a timelessness that's conveyed through the music's processional, ritualistic tenor, and yet there's an endless amount of wild, futuristic detail waiting to unspool at any given moment.

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