Even if you don’t know Bill Laswell by name, it’s likely you’ve heard his music.
"People are catching up and paying attention, making connections," reflects the bassist, who's worked on dozens of major-label and underground releases for over four decades.
Laswell's many roles inform his broad perspective: he’s a producer, remixer and the founder of several labels, including Axiom Records and Subharmonic. He’s worked with hundreds of bands and performers, quite literally from all over the globe. On the high-profile tip, Laswell produced Mick Jagger’s She’s the Boss, Iggy Pop’s Instinct, Motorhead’s Orgasmatron and the Ramones’ Brain Drain, and remixed some of Miles Davis’s most adventurous work. Laswell’s production duo, Material, even put out Whitney Houston’s first recorded lead vocal performance in 1982.
A living archive of music history, Laswell plays a short residency at The Chapel in San Francisco running Feb. 4–8. He’s best known as a collaborator, but the eight-concert series is a chance to showcase the musical talent that’s enabled him to work with these world-renowned acts.
"[My work] continues, and so does the appreciation of it," says Laswell, whose latest release with jazz and instrumental hip-hop band AFTERMATHematics came out on Jan. 18. "Every once in a while, something comes up and you say, 'Well, that’s interesting that people found this from so long ago.' You hope that the newer things will translate, and so far that’s been good."