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Bill Laswell

Bill LaswellBorn: 12-Feb-1955
Birthplace: Salem, IL

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Musician

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Avant-garde producer and musician

As a producer, musician and label head, Bill Laswell has managed to solidify his position in the music industry through sheer perseverance and overwhelming output, despite his non-mainstream leanings. Laswell began as a bass player in various Detroit-based funk bands before relocating to New York in 1978, where he founded the band Material -- originally just as a backing band for Gong's Daevid Allen, but before long an entity unto itself. Once in New York, his level of activity exploded: band work with Material, Massacre, Praxis and Curlew; session playing for David Byrne, John Zorn, Peter Gabriel, Yoko Ono, and numerous others; and of course more production credits than seem humanly possible.

Laswell's first big mainstream success was with his production work on Herbie Hancock's 1983 electro-funk hit Rockit. In 1990, he founded his third and most significant record label, Axiom, which, besides becoming the home for many of his own solo and collaborative projects, has presented many worthy but mostly-unheard artists from around the world, such as The Master Musicians of Jajouka. Throughout his work with all of these other projects, he has maintained a prolific (what else?) solo career.

Wife: Ejigayehu Shibabaw (Ethiopian singer, Gigi)

    Material Bassist (1979-94)
    Massacre Bassist (1982)
    Praxis Various (1984-94)
    Last Exit Bassist (1986-94)
    Public Image Limited Bassist and Producer (1985-86)
    Painkiller Bassist (1991-94)
    Tabla Beat Science Bassist and Producer (1999-)

    Beware of Mr. Baker (10-Mar-2012)
    Stranger: Bernie Worrell on Earth (22-Jan-2005) · Himself

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