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Bill Laswell


Over the course of some three decades, visionary bassist-producer Bill Laswell has been one of the most prolific and restlessly creative forces in contemporary music. A sound conceptualist who has always been a step ahead of the curve, he has put his inimitable stamp on nearly 3,000 recording projects by such artists as Mick Jagger, Yoko Ono, Iggy Pop, Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno, Bootsy Collins, Nine Inch Nails, Motorhead, Peter Gabriel, Blur, The Ramones, George Clinton, Pharaoh Sanders, The Dalai Lama, Matisyahu, Angelique Kidjo, DJ Krush, RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ, Sting, The Last Poets, Afrika Bambaataa, Julian Schnabel, Whitney Houston, Manu Dibango, Fela Kuti and most notably Herbie Hancock, who collaborated with Laswell for the pivotal 1983 smash-hit single "Rock-It" which introduced scratching to the mainstream, inspired a generation of turntablists and gave the great jazz pianist instant street credibility among the burgeoning hip-hop cognoscenti. Laswell's sense of creative daring as a producer was further demonstrated on several recordings that have kept him on the cutting edge, including Afrika Bambaataa's collaboration with John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten of Sex Pistols fame) on World Destruction and PiL's Album (which brought together an unlikely pairing of drumming greats Ginger Baker and Tony Williams, synth-pop pioneer Ryuichi Sakamoto of Yellow Magic Orchestra fame and rising guitar star Steve Vai)



Label: Tzadik
Released: 2023
Track listing: Pharoah Sanders; Milford Graves; Wayne Shorter


Fire Illuminations

Label: Kabell Records
Released: 2023
Track listing: Ntozake; Muhammed Ali's Spiritual Horizon; Fire Illuminations Inside Light Particles; Tony Williams; Muhammed Ali and George Foreman's Rumble in Zaire Africa.


Article: Interview

A Conversation with Tim Hagans

Read "A Conversation with Tim Hagans" reviewed by AAJ Staff

This interview was first published at All About Jazz on December 1998. We spoke with Tim Hagans at Los Angeles's Jazz Bakery in January of this year for his last Blue Note release, a tribute to Freddie Hubbard entitled Hubsongs with fellow trumpeter Marcus Printup. He informed me that he was planning on releasing ...


Article: Live Review

Vilnius Mama Jazz Festival 2023

Read "Vilnius Mama Jazz Festival 2023" reviewed by John Sharpe

Vilnius Mama Jazz Festival State Youth Theater Vilnius, Lithuania May 25-28, 2023 Introduction Now the largest city in the Baltic States, the Lithuanian capital jny: Vilnius once again hosted the Mama Jazz Festival for its 23rd edition. While booking acts which might please a wide range of music lovers, the ...


Article: Album Review

Karl Berger: Heart Is A Melody

Read "Heart Is A Melody" reviewed by Dave Linn

Karl Berger, one of the more unsung and underrated jazz musicians of our time, passed away on April 9, 2023. He had just turned 88 years old. Berger released several dozen albums as a leader and scores more as a sideman. His discography reads like a Who's Who of modern jazz. He recorded with people such ...


Article: Live Review

Big Ears Festival 2023

Read "Big Ears Festival 2023" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Big Ears Festival Knoxville, Tennesse March 30-April 2, 2023 The second full edition after the pandemic found the Big Ears Festival still growing in attendance. Organizers responded by increasing the number of venues, including new ones like the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and ones that had not been used for some time, ...


Article: Album Review

Mark de Clive-Lowe, Melanie Charles, Shigeto: Hotel San Claudio

Read "Hotel San Claudio" reviewed by Chris May

Lovers of Pharoah Sanders' fundamentally acoustic spiritual-jazz may experience something of a road-to-Damascus moment listening to Hotel San Claudio: the realisation that high-tech, digital-era excursions can, in the right hands, bring more than just novelty to the music. Almost half of Hotel San Claudio--a collaboration between keyboardist Mark de Clive-Lowe, vocalist and flautist ...


Article: Album Review

Wadada Leo Smith: Fire Illuminations

Read "Fire Illuminations" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Eighty-one year old trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith comes out flaring like Bitches Brew era Miles Davis, as Fire Illuminations jumps the funk rock from the break of the muscular conflagration “Ntozake." And the grunge jazz clips along as guitarists Nels Cline, Brandon Ross, and Lamar Smith vie, bite, sting, and quarrel over an insistent bass drum ...


Article: Album Review

Wadada Leo Smith: Fire Illuminations

Read "Fire Illuminations" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith fronts lots of different bands and puts out lots of albums. After a busy period when he released five boxed sets, totaling 27 CDs, here he debuts his new all-star ensemble Orange Wave Electric, with the download-only offering, Fire Illuminations. The band name applies as electric it is, featuring three electric guitarists, ...


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