Bill Laswell is a bassist, producer and label owner who has worked with a staggering number and range of musicians over the last 40 years. There’s not enough space here to approach an even semi-comprehensive list, but a quick glimpse of his resume includes work with The Last Poets, Sting, Yoko Ono, Lee Scratch Perry, Mick Jagger, Carlos Santana, Gil Scott Heron, Nona Hendrix, George Clinton and Whitney Houston… And on and on… Maybe the list of people he hasn’t worked with would be shorter, I’m not sure…
I had been wanting to talk to him for quite a while, because the breadth of the music he has made, and the people he has made it with, position him at the forefront of world music, and, indeed, world culture. For example, he worked with both Brian Eno and reggae legend Scratch Perry, two of the godfathers of ambient music as we know it today. He also co-wrote and played on Herbie Hancock’s Grammy-winning song “Rockit”, a seminal hip-hop hit that introduced millions of people to both hip-hop and electronic music.
We jump right into “the state of the union”, before discussing the role of art and the telling of stories in our current social times, and we finish with a look to the future (based on the past) for music/musicians.
More information about Bill Laswell can be found here:
and the podcast includes the songs “Jerusalem”, “Flow”, and “Orthodox”.
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