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Köln

Last Exit

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Album Review

Another live set from the 1986 tour, Köln could well be the best of the bunch. There is an actual song here (Ronald Shannon Jackson's aptly titled "Brain Damage") and an opening track, the nearly 20-minute rumble called "Hard School," that scorches from top to bottom. This recording was supposed to come after Cassette Recordings '87 and before Iron Path, but Bill Laswell was involved in some rancorous disagreements with Enemy and the record's release was postponed for a couple of years. But man, was it ever worth the wait. Open up and burn.

Biography

Formed: 1986

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s

When it comes to avant-garde jazz-rock noise, few bands kicked out the jams better than did Last Exit. A who's who of jazz players with punk-ass attitudes, Last Exit — guitarist Sonny Sharrock, bassist Bill Laswell, drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson, and saxophonist Peter Brötzmann — could swing, rock, and create an all-out free jazz din all in the blink of an eye. More important, Last Exit were about the thrill and danger of total improvisation; so much did they believe in this concept...
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