Bill Laswell?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by frimleygreener, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. frimleygreener

    frimleygreener "It 'a'int just is" Thread Starter

    united kingdom
    Not often mentioned here: I have heard a couple of his solo albums, some of his work with Material,and pieces with Jah Wobble. He has a pretty large discography...could any kind soul with more exposure to his works make any reccomendations as to his strongest works?
  2. gd0

    gd0 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies

    Golden Gate
    I'm not a BL expert, but enjoy most everything I've heard. Saw him play last year in an avant-rock trio.

    He's got an extensive listing on Bandcamp, with lotsa samples.

    Bill Laswell

    Anything by Praxis is good. I also picked up what seems to be a compilation, Secrets Of Fascination.

  3. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Forum Resident

    Baselines, his Ambient Dub albums and Paychonavigation are all good. Some of his production jobs and collaborations are pretty good too. I like his work with Sly and Robbie and I loved the album Ekstasis that he did with guitarist Nicky Skopelitis and Radioaxiom: A Dub Transmission with Jay Wobble.

    He is an interesting character and musician but you can delve deep into his work and go down the rabbit hole. He’s very prolific and doesn’t seem to stop working.
  4. Bluesman Mark

    Bluesman Mark But I'm innocent! Swan stole my music & framed me!

    All I've got by him is Funkcronomicon, the 2 CD compilation of his work with various members of P Funk, but it's pretty damned incredible.

    But when you've got George Clinton, Bootsy & the rest of the Funk Mob collaborating with Herbie Hancock & Laswell on one cut, virtually the last recordings of the late, great Eddie Hazel, plus Garry Shider & Mudbone Cooper teamed up with Sly & Robbie as the rhythm section on an incredible ambient dub style remake of Cosmic Slop, & Bootsy, Maceo & Bobby Byrd of the JBs getting back together & that's less than half the album, it's gonna be great!
  5. Sebastian saglimbenI

    Sebastian saglimbenI Forum Resident

    I believe bill laswell was heavily involved with THE GOLDEN PALOMINOS....A great "collective" album to album....I highly reccomend any of their albums though not easy to find them on c.d. anyway.
  6. The Elephant Man

    The Elephant Man Forum Resident

  7. Sebastian saglimbenI

    Sebastian saglimbenI Forum Resident

    And don't forget....MICHAEL BEINHORN!!!!
  8. ATR

    ATR Senior Member

    I go back to the 70's with Material. He's as much a producer and instigator as he is a bassist. His remixes of Miles Davis are beloved although I prefer I don't think the CD of this is still available. Downtown Music Gallery is where I got mine. If there's one recording with Laswell playing that I go back to it's Arcana (4) - The Last Wave . I think it's the last appearance of Tony Williams on a recording and it is an absolute scorcher. I saw Laswell in the last couple months in New Haven with Wadada Leo Smith.
    Mook, MungoMusic, gd0 and 3 others like this.
  9. Sebastian saglimbenI

    Sebastian saglimbenI Forum Resident

    Was THE DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY located on lower Broadway near canal if so I remember buying THE THEN hard to get "THE TRINITY SESSIONS" By THE COWBOY JUNKIES IN VINYL there.
    Greenalishi and frimleygreener like this.
  10. sleepjar

    sleepjar Forum Resident

    My two Material favorites are Hallucination Engine and especially this:


    The bonus version of the album Seven Souls. All vocals on this album are spoken word by William S. Burroughs, reading passages from his novel The Western Lands. Not only does it "work", it works astonishingly well. At least that's what I think.

    I'd also recommend anything by Massacre, a trio with Fred Frith on guitar, Laswell on bass, and either Fred Maher (Killing Time) or Charles Hayward (all other albums) on drums.

    And finally, Panthalassa, reconstructed music of Miles Davis from 1969-74.

    Oh yeah, and Last Exit, a free jazz improv "supergroup" with Sonny Sharrock, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Peter Brotzmann, and Laswell.
  11. Jazzmonkie

    Jazzmonkie Can't stop buying music.

    Tempe, AZ
  12. eflatminor

    eflatminor Forum Resident

    Oh man, you must check out Painkiller with John Zorn and Mick Harris on drums.

    Phenomenal stuff!

  13. Sebastian saglimbenI

    Sebastian saglimbenI Forum Resident

  14. ATR

    ATR Senior Member

    That's the one.
    Sebastian saglimbenI likes this.
  15. Sebastian saglimbenI

    Sebastian saglimbenI Forum Resident

    I loved going in there...only once though I think.....shelves and shelves of vinyl. . Great place!!!
  16. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    Can be an annoyingly hands-on producer as well as overbearing as a player; but without him Sonny Sharrock might not have had a second act at all, and certainly wouldn't have produced his masterpiece Ask the Ages. So, I'm always interested in his work but proceed with caution...
    CDFanatic, j4yheindeo, Mumdad and 7 others like this.
  17. ATR

    ATR Senior Member

    I found his duets with Milford Graves to be a misfire. Can't win 'em all.
  18. Rocky's Owner

    Rocky's Owner I Don't Rent My Music

    Los Angeles
    Hallucination Engine is my favorite Material album. After that Material went in a rap direction, which I didn't care for.

    If you like the ambient side of things, many releases on the Subharmonic label are good. The Divination albums, Laswell/Tetsu Inoue-Cymatic Scan, Psychonavigation, Laswell/M.J. Harris-Somnific Flux.
    Also the Axion Ambient 2CD set is good.

    Hear No Evil is a great solo release and similar to the Material instrumental material.

    Invisible Design, on John Zorn's Tzadik label is another good solo release, bass and electronics.

    Massacre was an interesting band with Fred Frith of Henry Cow on guitar, which was experimental rock music. If you like the Baselines album, you might like Massacre.

    Last Exit, with Laswell on bass, was a great avant garde jazz group with Sonny Sharrock on guitar and Peter Brotzmann on sax.

    He also did an interesting duo album with Brotzmann on sax called Lowlife.

    The Arcana-Last Wave album is a really good free jazz/avant garde album. Produced by Laswell. He plays bass, Derek Bailey is on guitar, and Tony Williams is on drums.

    He also produced a great Sonny Sharrock album called Ask the Ages which has Pharoah Sanders on sax.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
    mark e, MungoMusic and zphage like this.
  19. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Austin, TX
    His name is on so many albums that are so different from each other that it's hard to give recommendations. Pain Killer - Guts Of A Virgin is a much different affair than Bill Laswell - Outer Dark.

    Fantastic ambient album to get lost in:
    mark e and MungoMusic like this.
  20. zphage

    zphage inappropriately touching the out of touch

    For some reason he's fallen massively out of favor, after being a hipster 'go to' through the 80s and 90s, in the US his vinyl and cds are cheap, all worth taking a chance on, even the Whitney Houston stuff. He's pretty consistent and seems to be able to fit his dubby bass style in whatever project he's working on, if you like that style then follow the connections, it's an enjoyable journey.
    Sneaky Pete likes this.
  21. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    FWIW, I've always found Last Exit to be rather less than the sum of its admittedly excellent parts (too monochromatic), and think their drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society (which Laswell was not involved in, IIRC) to be generally more satisfying, YMMV.
    ATR likes this.
  22. ATR

    ATR Senior Member

    I don't recall his producing or playing in Decoding Society. When I was involved with Ronald's band they did a show at CBGB'S that as I recall Laswell opened for, or maybe they opened for him. Laswell, though I never met him, was said to be a pretty dour and serious person. Of course that was a long time ago. I enjoy reading interviews with him. He likes to take credit for everything that goes right and seems to think he's the only one sometimes who knows what's not. It's a tough business and he's good at it.
  23. Jazzmonkie

    Jazzmonkie Can't stop buying music.

    Tempe, AZ
    One my faves is "Down By Law" credited to the band Deadline. It sounds like a Laswell album to me.
    brew ziggins likes this.
  24. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    "Decoding Society (which Laswell was not involved in, IIRC)" I was making a connection between the two bands because Jackson was in both, not Bill - sorry if I wasn't clear. I think the Decoding Society was pretty much the most happening band of it's time and didn't need Laswell's input except maybe for publicity.
  25. mcrichley

    mcrichley Forum Resident

    Zillatron / Lord Of The Harvest
    Miles Davis / Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969–1974
    Santana / Divine Light: Reconstruction & Mix Translation

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