Dave Sharp World’s Quartet

“…a kaleidoscope of undulating gypsy, klezmer, Persian, and North African music, interspersed with jazz variations.” Sally Mitani, Ann Arbor Observer

Henrik Karapetyan, violin
Igor Houwat, oud
Mike List, percussion
Dave Sharp, bass

Recognized in the Jazz Times 2010 Critic’s Poll, the DAVE SHARP WORLDS QUARTET masterfully blends rhythms, sounds, and textures from across the globe with world music inspired original compositions. Featuring oud, violin, electric bass, synthesizer and world percussion, the WORLDS QUARTET is fueled by the spirit of jazz, world music and dynamic exploratory improvisation. Bassist, composer and bandleader Dave Sharp leads the WORLDS QUARTET to explore music traditions from Turkey, Egypt, Ukraine, India, Bulgaria and Greece.

The quartet has appeared at festivals throughout Michigan such as Concert of Colors Detroit, Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Bach Music Festival, Lansing Harmony Celebration Lansing, Rasa Indian Arts Festival Ann Arbor, and intimate venues such as Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, Music Hall Jazz Cafe Detroit, UrbanBeat Events Center Lansing and Riverfolk Music and Arts Blacksmith Shop Concert Series in Manchester.

Dave Sharp World’s Quartet


Dave Sharp World’s Quartet

Dave Sharp World’s Quartet

Mishra Shivaranjani (traditional)

Mishra is the Hindi word for “mixture” or “combination,” and this composition is built around variations on the Indian classical music raga shivaranjani. The second to last descending melodic motif is used as a lehra, which in is a continuous cyclical musical phrase or riff designed to feature rhythmic improvisation by the percussionist.

Miserlou (traditional)
An extremely popular folk tune composed in the “seductive” Altered Phrygian/Ahava Raba mode mode has crossed styles since its first recording in 1927. There are dozens of popular versions of the tune, from Dick Dale’s surf take on it (used in Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction in 1994) to a Martin Denny cover (featured in 1959 Fritz Lang film The Bengal Tiger) to Guitar Hero II Video Game in 2006. In more authentic forms, Greek, Armenian, Klezmer and Arabic folk versions of these tune are heard across the world. While the tune is frequently thought of as having Greek origin, its name implies a connection to Egypt (Misr in Quranic Arabic, Msr in Medieval Armenian or Masr as pronounced in Egyptian Arabic and it is the modern official name of Egypt), and therefore, the origins of Miserlou are not exactly clear. Its melodic feel is intensified by the characteristic rhythmic pattern, common to many Eastern cultures.

Hicaz Mandira (traditional)
Frequently attributed to the 19th-Century Ottoman Sultan Abdulaziz (though most likely composed by a court musician in Istanbul), this energetic tune in ⅞ meter has been recorded by dozens of Eastern and Western musicians, in different styles – Baroque, Folk, Flamenco, Celtic and of course, Middle Eastern. Its asymmetrical rhythmic pattern is quite common in Eastern European and Near Eastern music, yet it sounds fresh and unusual to audiences in the “West.”

B7 (traditional)
An original Bulgarian tune, known also as Ispupsi Knucci, the tune was “christened” B7 as an acronym for “Bulgarian Seven” to emphasize its origin and rhythmic groove. The Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet version of it is more dynamic than its original versions, if somewhat slower and “groovier.” The tune has been expanded for a dominant violin solo in the middle, with the main musical motive inverted throughout.

Desert Sky and The Seventh Secret (Dave Sharp & Chris Kaercher)
Two original compositions written by bassist Dave Sharp and tenor saxophonist Chris Kaercher. Desert Sky was inspired by the music of French gypsy guitarist Thierry Robin, and the main melody has a driving 6/4 groove, which changes to 3/4 with a repeating bar of 5/4 on the bridge. The Seventh Secret features an Indian style tihai in the main melody, and is often introduced with a drone “alap” backdrop in live performance. Alap is the opening section of a typical North Indian classical music performance, and is a form of unmetered melodic improvisation that introduces and develops a raga.

Aziza (Mohammed Abdel Wahhab)
Aziza is a very famous instrumental belly dance piece by the legendary Egyptian singer, composer, and oud player Mohammed Abdel Wahhab. The tune has become a staple of the American belly dance community. It goes through a number of tempo and textural changes, which are highlighted in the worlds quartet arrangement.

Mystery Blues (Dave Sharp)
An original composition with a 14 bar minor blues melody, inspired by the legendary jazz titan Charles Mingus. With a melody constructed from the harmonic minor scale and the fast tempo 6/4 time signature, this piece has rhythmic echoes of Mingus’ Gunslinging Bird and Better Get Hit in Your Soul.

Dope Crunk (Beats Antique) 
Dope Crunk is an electronic world music fusion composition by the west coast ensemble Beats Antique. “Crunk” refers to a specific style of hip-hop, which accentuates low frequency bass, and the Worlds Quartet arrangement uses low frequencies from the african djembe and cajon to replicate a western backbeat feel, that is layered with middle eastern doumbek accents.

Sunrise (Dave Sharp, Igor Houwat, Elden Kelly)
Sunrise is an original compositions created during an early jam session with Dave Sharp, Igor Houwat and frequent Worlds Quartet collaborator Elden Kelly. The melody uses a descending mixolydian scale, and incorporates the classical Indian music device known as a “tihai,” where a short rhythmic or melodic phrase is repeated three times.

Ukranian Kolomejka (traditional)
Kolomejka, a fast-paced dance with a peculiar rhythmic pattern combined with humorous rhymed verses seems to have originated in the region of Kolomia in modern day Ukraine. Commonly regarded as a Hutsul dance (Hutsuls are an ethnic minority of Slavic or possibly Romanian ancestry, living mostly in mountainous regions of Western Ukraine), it was popular in Ukraine, Poland and in parts of Slovenia and is still performed regularly by Slavic folk dance ensembles. The more recent Canadian-Ukrainian version of it showcases more individual dance moves and stage dancing “tricks,” such as spins or “high kicks.” Developed mostly in 1950’s and 60’s, it seems to have originated from the old country dance and possibly the Kossak/Ukrainian “national” dance, Hopak and is different from the original Kolomejka.

Afro Blue-(Mongo Santamaria)
Afro Blue is a well known jazz standard, made famous by John Coltrane in the early 60’s on the live recording “Live at Birdland”. Composed by Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaria, this was the first jazz standard built upon an African 3 against 2 crossrhythm. The Worlds Quartet rhythm section shifts the rhythmic accents and varies the cross-rhythms throughout the arrangement, which features fiery oud and violin improvisations.

Dave Sharp World’s Quartet
World, Residency