The cover for jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock’s debut album, 1969's Black Woman, could have easily doubled as a movie poster for the 1970s version of Queen & Slim. The photo taken by Ray Gibson (with design by Haig Adishian) features Sonny and his wife and frequent collaborator—until their divorce—Linda Sharrock lookin’ like Black love goals. They’re together, chillin’, both lookin’ content in their own way. It’s definite album cover Blackness of the highest order. The black and white take it over the top. The regality is intoxicating.
Similarly, the album is pretty Black in and of itself. For instance, here are the titles of each song on the album: “Black Woman,” “Peanut,” “Bialero (Traditional),” “Blind Willy,” and “Portrait of Linda in Three Colors, All Black.”
I’d like the record to reflect how awesome that last song title is; the song itself features a whole lot of guitar and sax and a whole lot of Linda Sharrock doing some singing and some yelling, mostly yelling. I still don’t know how I feel about the song, but that title is literal Black Excellence. I’ve been looking for a title for my autobiography and that might get usurped.