Sunday, 2 March 2014

Last Exit - Köln

'Köln'
Last Exit
1986

Review By Jerry Kahale

Genre/s: Free Jazz, Experimental, Noise Music, Bebop


For Fans Of: Peter Brötzmann, Sonny Sharrock, Naked City,
Albert Ayler, The Flying Luttenbachers

So my last review (not counting the band submissions) was a band called Final Exit, so i'm going to be a smartass and review Last Exit. Don't worry though its all still very noisy and destructive, and no its not the British power electronics project either (Cheers last.fm). Incase you aren't familiar already Last Exit is an experimental free jazz supergroup consisting of oddball jazz instrumentalists including saxophonist Peter Brötzmann (Machine Gun), the late drummer/vocalist Ronald Shannon Jackson (collabs with Cecil Taylor and Ornett Coleman), bass guitarist Bill Laswell (collabs with Herbie Hancock, Yoko Ono, Iggy Pop and heaps more) and the late guitarist Sonny Sharrock (collabs with Pharaoh Sanders before being his own artist and is most renowned for the Space Ghost Coast To Coast theme song). 


Do you like musical notes, well constructed harmonies and a rigid time signature? Tough titties, because even locking up wild wolves in a music store would not be anywhere near as violent and bewildering as these madmen. Last Exit is a civil war of  noisy jazz music titans to see who can fuck shit up the most. This is by no means an easy listen. There is nothing easy here, even trying to point out a particularly unique part here is an impossible task. All the musicians, even the odd bouts of vocals, are non-stop crashing into each other like a derby, only occasionally letting one person a chance to shine on its own. Its far from a wank however, even amongst this chaos it still has all the professional marksmanship of years and history of world class musicians that defied the common ground and travel on their own path in a truly honest and unique journey. It should be pointed out that they only ever did one studio album and the majority of their releases, including this one, are live albums and presumably improvised too. 

Its a shame that Last Exit is often overshadowed by the equally eccentric Naked City, who formed a little later after Last Exit and both bands were active around the late 80's/early 90's but where Naked City tends to straight up assault towards as many genres and styles as possible in a hyperactive stupor, Last Exit is drawn more to destroying all the relics of conventional musicianship in a ferocious and rebellious fury that has yet to be matched.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Hard School
2. Brain Damage
3. Taking A Beating
4. Last Call
5. Dark Heart

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