Sunday, April 15, 2018

Bill Laswell, Bernie Worrell and Material - 2012-10-24 - Milan, Italy

One World Music...

I've been on a bit of a Laswell kick as of late, listening to his solo record Means of Deliverance and a bunch of Material. Why? Because they've all been re-released on Bandcamp, often with new cover art and great sound. It's tempting to just buy them all, especially after a couple of drinks, but since I own a few of them already, and a few don't really do much for me, I've just stuck with his Material albums: One Down, Seven Souls and The Third Power. 

One thing I've noticed is that there isn't a lot of Live Laswell out there. I guess there's a few EPs, but generally it's just lots and lots of studio recordings. Which makes today's share all the more interesting: it's a Material show from 2012, and at this point Laswell was on something of a jazz kick. He'd also brought along sometime-compatriot and P-funk legend Bernie Worrell on keys, which immediately makes this a must-listen

And it's a rewarding one, too. It opens with a lengthy Worrell solo, then the band hits into a laid-back groove for "Volunteered Slavery." From there's the electric funk of "Goodfellas," the spacey almost dub of "Tendi" and some guitar heroics on "Thinking of Hendrix." There's a lengthy percussion solo, which would almost put the Dead's Kreutzmann/Hart to shame and lots of dub/reggae grooves in the show's back end. It sort of promises what the bootleg title delivers: One World Music, as many ideas from what we'd call world music all happening at once.

I'm not sure exactly the details of this recording; it's taken from a radio broadcast, and I don't really know if all the titles are correct. According to one site, the lineup is:
  • Bill Laswell, bass
  • Bernie Worrell, keyboards;
  • Dominic Kanza, guitar;
  •  Hamid Drake, drums
  • Ayib Dieng, percussion
  • Steven Bernstein, trumpet
  • Peter Apfelbaum, tenor sax


M. Milner said...

Laswell '12:

anon'n'on said...

thanks mil

Scraps said...

I first got into Material from =Memory Serves=, which I bought because (basically) of Henry Threadgill. It was really great. And that meant when I bought =One Down=, =Seven Souls=, and =Temporary Music=, and all of them were disappointing. I learned that Laswell may be a great bassist, but he was an average (at best) music writer.

M. Milner said...

Hey Scraps,

Yeah I totally see where you're coming from. Laswell's music seems to reflect whatever he is listening to at the moment - sometimes metal, sometimes dub, sometimes something else entirely - and often depends more on who he's playing with than with his writing. There's been some real stinkers over the years: Praxis comes to mind.

I enjoy the three albums you mentioned, and a bunch of others besides them, but when I look at stuff he's recorded, I always check who else was on the record, too. It's the same for me with John Zorn, who also releases records at breakneck pace and with varying results.

M. Milner said...

Hey Jim, thanks for the tip, but I declined to publish it only because I don't really want to draw any heat for linking to sites that let you download official stuff. But I still appreciate the comment!