Thursday, February 12, 2015

Praxis Makes Perfect

Hello again! Today is birthday number 60 for a titan of the last 35 years of music, so I am front-n-center with the requisite festivities.
Bassist, bandleader, producer, conceptualist, bringer-together of disparate musical elements to form exquisite, never-before-heard tapestries of sounds at the bleeding edge: if you can accomplish 1/1,000,000th as much as Bill Laswell has in his sixty years so far, they'd likely build you a statue. Or a studio.
Progenitor of seminal bands from Material to Last Exit to Praxis to Tabla Beat Science, he's also the first guy to record Whitney Houston, on a 1978 cover of the Hugh Hopper song "Memories," a track made famous by Robert Wyatt.
He's probably recorded/played on/produced a half a million records, this guy. All the people in this hourlong concert I am posting have been associated with him, in various groups and projects, over the course of his career. And they represent just a fraction of the musicians he's collaborated with during that time.
Bill Laswell
Axiom Sound System Musical Freezone
Tabla Beat Science - Material - Praxis
WTTW Studios
Chicago, IL

Pt. 1
Tabla Beat Science

01 Untitled improvisations

Bill Laswell - bass
DJ Disk - turntables
Zakir Hussain - tabla
Karsh Kale - drums
Ustad Sultan Khan - sarangi
Salim Merchant - percussion
Nils Petter Molvaer - trumpet

Pt. 2

01 Untitled improvisations

Pharoah Sanders - tenor sax
Foday Musa Suso - kora
Bill Laswell - bass
Abegasu Shiota - keyboards
Hamid Drake - drums
Aiyb Dieng - percussion
Nils Petter Molvaer - trumpet
Toshinori Kondo - trumpet

Pt. 3

01 Big Sur Moon
02 Wires and Clips > guitar solo
03 Nunchucks/Robot Dance
04 The Seven Laws of Woo
05 Meta-Matic
06 Keep That Funk Alive (finale w/ Bootsy Collins and Grandmaster DXT)

Bill Laswell - bass
Buckethead - guitar
Brain - drums
DJ Disk - turntables

William "Bootsy" Collins - MC
Phelps "Catfish" Collins - The Clown
Grandmixer DXT - turntable, vocals
Pete Cosey - guitar
Ouiwey Collins - vocals
Oz Fritz - live sound

Total time: 55:48

NTSC DVD of a master satellite TV capture
Wow, that's a lotta monster players for just under an hour. There were also a ton of heavyweight music birthdays today -- Steve Hackett of Genesis fame, Michael McDonald from the Doobie Brothers, and The Left Reverend Eugene McDaniels to name but three --  and I could have went in any number of directions. But I hope you'll pull this down and celebrate the one on whom I chose to focus. Sixty is a big deal, and so is the musical output of Bill Laswell, born this day in 1955!--J.


  1. how about a re up on mega of this lovely monster would love to hear the stuff with pharoah
    thanks roberth

    1. hahaha you heard that Laswell/Bailey and now you're on this one! hold on I'll dig it out

  2. Replies
    1. hey sorry it took too long but this link is hot again for you roberth!

  3. that wasn't long. shit it would take me ages. hey in those sf punk concerts
    did the appliances show up? maybe a show with lydia lunch and the dead kennedys?
    the appliances were my band....
    thanks for this

    1. no Appliances, but there are several DK installments

      none feature Lydia Lunch tho

  4. ah well at least target filmed us once.
    the gig with the kennedy's was hilarious
    jello did not like funk and we were one of the first punk funk bands
    plus lydia decided to take jello home that night
    and i never have seen him look so scared before.
    one of my two favorite jello moments