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.