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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)

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, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Pharoah Sanders: Live In Paris (1975)

Read "Live In Paris (1975)" reviewed by Chris May

Pharoah Sanders' catalogue of newly-discovered album releases is expanding as fast as those of his fellow travellers Alice Coltrane and John Coltrane. Which is great, but... most of the albums were recorded live, sometimes with poor audio capture, and do not always find the musicians at their best. You have to pick and choose between them. ...

ARTICLE: WHAT IS JAZZ?

2020 Winter JazzFest Marathons: A Survival Guide

Read "2020 Winter JazzFest Marathons: A Survival Guide" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Believe it or not, it is that time of the year again! The holidaze are barely over and a new edition of Winter JazzFest is upon us. Knowing a jazz marathon is the perfect antidote to the holiday shopping and social marathons, producer Brice Rosenbloom and his cohorts have put together a program of gargantuan proportions. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Maleem Mahmoud Ghania & Pharoah Sanders: The Trance Of Seven Colors

Read "The Trance Of Seven Colors" reviewed by Chris May

Producer Bill Laswell gets a bad rap in some quarters, and sometimes he deserves it. During his mid 1980s through mid 1990s purple period, Laswell tended to apply, some would say impose, a one-size-fits-all, avant-rock-and-funk formula across the board to the projects he took on. It was novel and radical and compelling and Laswell assembled a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar Remixes and Extra Tracks

Read "Fractal Guitar Remixes and Extra Tracks" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Swiss guitarist-composer Stephan Thelen (leader of the band Sonar) released his first solo album Fractal Guitar (Moonjune Records, 2019) to great acclaim. This remix album offers a dramatic new look at four of the original five tracks--only “Radiant Day" is skipped--as well as adding three new tracks from Thelen and two collaborators. The remix ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jon Batiste: Anatomy of Angels

Read "Anatomy of Angels" reviewed by Chris May

As the bandleader and musical director on CBS TV's The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, pianist Jon Batiste will be known to many AAJ readers in the US. Here on the other side of the pond his name rings fewer bells. So before discussing Batiste's piano trio + octet album Anatomy of Angels, some background for ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Arild Andersen / Clive Bell / Mark Wastell: Tales Of Hackney

Read "Tales Of Hackney" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Tales Of Hackney features three leading improvisers, Arild Andersen, Mark Wastell and Clive Bell. Following a rare live performance at London's Cafe Oto in September 2017, the trio were inspired enough to proceed the very next day to Hackney Road Studios to produce the fifty minutes of transcendental music presented here. The renowned bass ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

JazzMI 2018 - III Edizione

Read "JazzMI 2018 - III Edizione" reviewed by Paolo Peviani

JazzMI 2018--Terza Edizione Milano 1.-13.11.2018 Terza edizione di JazzMI, festival che si impone all'attenzione della città con la forza dei grandi numeri. Oltre 200 eventi, 500 artisti, 100 location sparse per tutta la città (periferie comprese, è bene sottolinearlo), tra mostre fotografiche, dibattiti, interviste pubbliche, proiezioni cinematografiche e ovviamente concerti, tra ...


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