[Last Exit] -- I previously shared one track from today's Flashback artist, Last Exit. This weekend, however, I'm sharing over 30 minutes of material from them. Someone was kind enough to upload their appearance at the 1986 Deutsches Jazzfestival in Frankfurt. So, Last Exit was a ferocious and uncompromising free-jazz band formed in 1986. They remained active to about the mid-90s, disbanding after their guitarist's death. Upon joining forces, they were considered something of a supergroup due to the pedigree of the musicians involved: Bassist Bill Laswell (also known for his work with Material and as a producer), drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson (who didn't know the meaning of "false modesty"), guitarist Sonny Sharrock (no stranger to precise distortion), and saxophonist Peter Brötzmann (giving aggressive breath to reed instruments since the 1960s). These guys were chaotic and loud, louder than many rock bands at the time. They released several live records, but only one studio album, Iron Path (1988). Iron Path found the foursome displaying more restraint than on their live efforts, and it seemed to focus more on textures and experimentation. Still, even on Iron Path, Last Exit could improvise with a tension matched only by two large ships passing in complete darkness, far from the shore. What does that even mean? I'm not sure; I just remember the line from a review I read for the record back in '88. And I bought the CD because of that review (I think it was in Musician magazine, but I cannot find it online). The reviewer referred to their playing as being akin to the tension of a boat bracing an incoming storm. My late father, as I recall, could only comment that Brötzmann sounded like he was playing with a split reed. Anyway, read the liner notes for Iron Path and that might give you some idea of what to expect from this performance. I'm not saying it will prepare you, but at least you'll be informed.
Flashback: Live and loud experimental jazz
That's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
I'll see you in seven!