This Monday night from 6pm to 9pm EST on WKCR 89.9FM and wkcr.org, I welcome drummer Don McKenzie back to the studio for a very special Deep Focus on the supergroup Last Exit (Peter Brotzmann, Sonny Sharrock, Bill Laswell, Ronald Shannon Jackson).
I booked these guys, I traveled with them and no one, not ever, not anywhere looked, acted or sounded remotely like them. No one dared. No one could. Greg Kot wrote that they brought a level of “volume and violence that makes most rock bands sound tame.” Although Last Exit left a mere handful of recordings and made only limited tour dates, they left a reputation for scorched earth; dazzled, sputtering listeners and no apologies. A quarter century later, however, when the swagger of the music’s creators has been set aside, what emerges is magnificent improvisation (they never rehearsed) with glistening shards of beauty from each of the composer/bandleader members. This will be especially well borne out by the unreleased live recordings we will play on Monday night, music the world has almost never heard.
Drummer Don McKenzie, well-known for his playing with Elliot Sharp, Marc Ribot, Vernon Reid and Roswell Rudd among many, many others, brings special insight into this ensemble, so often discussed but so seldom brought to light. See you in the spot –