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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)

The Acid Lands

Label: Sub Rosa
Released: 2020
Track listing: The Acid Lands (Opening Performance Orchestra); The Acid Lands Ambient Mix Translation (Bill Laswell); The Seven Souls Ambient Mix Translation (Bill Laswell)

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jon Armstrong Sextet: Reabsorb

Read "Reabsorb" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Saxophonist Jon Armstrong reminds us that life and death are two sides of the same coin. Although seemingly disparate, like two sides of an LP, they cannot be separated. His sextet recording Reabsorb models this contrasting device by presenting two contrasting compositions, one on each side of an LP (also available as a CD and download). ...

Pharoah Sanders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Feed Your Head

Read "Pharoah Sanders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Feed Your Head" reviewed by Chris May

Fellow tenor-wielding sonic adventurer Albert Ayler famously described his own and Pharoah Sanders' relationships with their mentor John Coltrane thus: “Trane was the Father, Pharoah was the Son, I am the Holy Ghost." The epigram goes some way to capturing the scorched-earth ferocity of much, though not all, of Sanders' music in the 1960s. But Ayler ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Peter Brötzmann / Maâlem Moukhtar Gania / Hamid Drake: The Catch Of A Ghost

Read "The Catch Of A Ghost" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Nearly a quarter century after recording The “WELS" Concert (Okka, 1997), saxophonist Peter Brötzmann reconvened a three-continent trio to deliver a remarkable set of ecstatic-trance music. His European free jazz met American drummer Hamid Drake and African Gnawa music master Maâlem Moukhtar Gania at the AngelicA, Festival Internazionale di Musica in Bologna, Italy in 2019. Same ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Steven Bernstein, Michael Brecker and the Art of Jazz-Hacking the Pop world - Part 1

Read "Steven Bernstein, Michael Brecker and the Art of Jazz-Hacking the Pop world - Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

This week we focus on Steven Bernstein and Michael Brecker, the quintessential jazz-hackers of the pop world. If you heard a compelling saxophone solo on a high-end pop or rock production, especially between the 1970s and 1990s, you could bet it was by Michael Brecker, who over the years has appeared on almost 1000 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dave Douglas: Engage

Read "Engage" reviewed by Giuseppe Segala

Nella conduzione della propria etichetta indipendente Greenleaf Music, Dave Douglas ha sempre perseguito criteri di attenzione e rispetto verso lo scambio positivo tra esseri umani, ambiente, forme della convivenza. “Composizioni dedicate all'azione positiva": così il trombettista definisce questo lavoro in dodici brani, facendo riferimento ai mesi dell'anno e alle tonalità musicali della tradizione occidentale. Un CD ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Thiago Nassif: Mente

Read "Mente" reviewed by Chris May

This is by no stretch of the imagination a jazz album, yet Brazilian singer, multi-instrumentalist and composer Thiago Nassif's Mente is so packed with risk-taking and invention that it is likely to appeal to a good number of AAJers. The music's starting point is tropicalia, Brazil's tripped-out successor to bossa nova in the ...

ARTICLE: IN PICTURES
ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Zeñel: Extreme Sports

Read "Extreme Sports" reviewed by Chris May

The coupling of jazz and dance music is hardly a new one and, contrary to the dictats of the jazz police, neither is it antithetical. Jazz began as dance music and enjoyed its most widespread popular success during the jitterbug-crazed swing era. But 21st century electronic dance music does present a unique challenge. By its nature, ...


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