266

Praxis: Tennessee 2004

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Praxis: Tennessee 2004 Praxis is the operative name of an experimental jazz/rock/funk/dub quartet led by bassist Bill Laswell with drummer Brain (Les Claypool's Primus), guitarist Buckethead and keyboardist Bernie Worrell (wizard of synthesized funk for P-Funk, Talking Head, etc...). They first came to Frankenstein-like life in 1993: because like that mad doctor, Laswell stitched Praxis together from disparate parts of the contemporary music corpse and then animated it into a sometimes powerful, and sometimes hideous, life-form.

In 2004, Praxis hit the stage around midnight on the first night of Bonnaroo, the jam-band scene's annual music festival in Manchester, Tennessee, and unleashed this machine-gun torrent of weird, wired and angry sound. Keyboards and guitar combine to sound like hip-hop turntables scratching heavy metal in the opening "Vertebrae. "Spun tears through more of the same, and then congeals into the raging, barbed electric blues of "Night of the Slunk where Buckethead plays so many hot and fast notes, the music seems to blur as it whizzes past.

The high point of this set is Buckethead's solo on "Guitar Virus introduces a torrid run through one of Jimi Hendrix' most memorable funk-rock melodies—"Machine Gun. Worrell and Buckethead double up and echo each other's screeds while Laswell and Brain churn up the underbody, deep, black and nasty. "Bent Light resurrects post-punk minimalism, repeating a small guitar phrase with slight variations to build the melody and melodic tension, nearly a nod to the "Robert Fripp school of intricate progressive guitar rock.

More open and airy, "Optic creates more of a mood than music, a heady "Pink Floyd atmosphere that will most likely conjure up (to those familiar with it) echoes of Laswell's dub project, Panthalassa (Columbia, 1998) with its manipulated Miles Davis recordings. "Magus brings down the curtain with a wildly progressive jam in some spacey, impossible-sounding time, electrified by Laswell's raging "jazz-rock bass, if by "rock you mean "Motorhead and "jazz you mean "Jamaaladeen Tacuma.

Praxis got over. Jambase magazine simply said of their set: "This is the glory of Bonnaroo.


Track Listing: Vertebrae; Spun; Night of the Slunk; Guitar Virus; Machine Gun; Haunted; Broken / Fractal; Bent Light; Chopper; Optic; Magus.

Personnel: Buckethead: guitar; Bill Laswell: bass; Brain: drums; Bernie Worrell: keyboards.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: ROIR | Style: Jam Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Prog Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Prog Noir
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Mass" CD/LP/Track Review Mass
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "Still Happy" CD/LP/Track Review Still Happy
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: July 11, 2016
Read "Reflection" CD/LP/Track Review Reflection
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Montréal" CD/LP/Track Review Montréal
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Refuge In Sound" CD/LP/Track Review Refuge In Sound
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!