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PROFILES

Prince Lasha: The Passing of a Sax-Man

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December 12, 2008 saw the unexpected passing of William B. Lashaw better known in jazz circles as Prince Lasha. It sent a shudder of disbelief through the jazz community from the San Francisco Bay Area to New York. His memorial was held in Oakland California at the Mountain View Cemetery, December 20th. The large, flower filled room was packed with standing room only. A beautifully framed photograph of Prince stood before us. His sons John and Anthony spoke to us ...

INTERVIEWS

Prince Lasha's Inside-Outside Story

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Alto saxophonist, flutist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Prince Lasha was born in 1929 near Fort Worth, Texas, and came up with Ornette Coleman and Charles Moffett, but his travels have taken him both far away from and nearer to that tree. During the 1960s, after moving to New York from California, Lasha associated regularly with Eric Dolphy and reedman Sonny Simmons, and recorded a slew of sessions throughout the decade with such notable figures as Bobby Hutcherson, Clifford Jordan, Don Cherry, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Prince Lasha & Odean Pope Trio: The Mystery of Prince Lasha

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Shooting for a faux sense of inscrutability, the tongue-in-cheek title of this new CIMP masks what is an unsurprisingly common occurrence in creative improvised music. Like others of his era who have dropped beneath the public radar since their halcyon days, Prince Lasha opted for a more financially remunerative path than the largess of professional musicianship could provide. Or to put it more simply, when the well ran dry, he sought water elsewhere. Now a septuagenarian, the time felt ripe ...

PROFILES

Prince Lasha

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Born September 10, 1929 in Fort Worth, Tex., flutist, clarinetist and altoist Prince Lasha came from a musical family. His grandfather was a clarinetist and his father Don Jones played tenor with Count Basie's band: “Him and Herschel Evans were good friends, like [Sonny] Simmons and I." Lasha relates his youthful encounter with his future axe: “The first time I saw a saxophone, my mother took me over for a visit with her brother and I saw this thing laying ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Prince Lasha Quintet featuring Sonny Simmons: The Cry!

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Give a quick listen to this CD and you might be tempted to write off Prince Lasha and Sonny Simmons as Ornette Coleman knockoffs, albeit good ones. The reality is that Lasha had been playing with Coleman since high school, swapping ideas and looking for fellow players in a world that wasn’t quite ready for what they had to offer. Coleman broke through first, and finally people were ready for Lasha; The Cry, one of Lasha and Simmons’ only appearances ...