Whether rumbling and rolling in a duo with rhythmic shaman Milford Graves, engaging in complex dialogues with master trumpet player Wadada Leo Smith, or augmenting Japanese hip-hop pioneer DJ Krush’s ambient backdrops and breakbeats/scratches, Bill Laswell and his fretless chorused P-Bass are deep, authoritative, and upfront, ready with chords, picks, and solos at a moment’s notice. Best known in some circles for his dub mastery, Laswell is otherwise seen traversing thrash-trashed, frightening alternate worlds with Buckethead, Rammellzee, and John Zorn and slippin’ and slidin’ into Bernie Worrell’s gorgeous, typically wideranging solo improvisation before putting the bottom under a cool electro quintet. Method Of Defiance, an all-star collaboration that includes Bernie Worrell and Foday Musa Susa, might be the perfect encapsulation of Laswell’s ethos: It’s an emission from another space and time, when top-notch, interactive musicianship was the order of the day and trampling categories was an art both expected and perfected.
CD Review: Bill Laswell "The Process"
How do you think it’d sound if bass magus Bill Laswell and his fretted, fretless, clean, and effected P-Basses got together with drummer Chad Smith—yes, the Red Hot Chili Pepper—and young New Orleans keyboard master Jon Batiste? If you guessed that it’d be spiritual and sweaty, and that you might hear Smith as you’ve never heard him before, you’d be right.