Last Exit: Last Exit

Mayhem. Sonic mayhem. Peter Brötzmann, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Sonny Sharrock, and Bill Laswell tear everything up, chew it, spit it out, and repeat. This quartet freely rips through jazz, rock, and blues and stomps all over all them tropes until they lay splayed out on the ground begging for mercy. Punk Jazz is much too timid a term.

The Wire magazine (get it now!) features Peter Brötzmann on its November 2012 cover and I highly recommend checking out that article/interview. Last Exit the band and album comes some roughly 20 years after the blisteringly beautiful Machine Gun and you'll notice Mr. Brötzmann hasn't lost any steam (if anything he's even steamier). If you read the Wire interview you'll also see that Brötzmann breaks up his bands as soon as they start feeling comfortable, discomfort being one of the creative sparks he's after. So we're talking purposefully edgy, intentionally disquieting, mean-ass'd stuff. I don't know about you, but sometimes mad energy is just what the doctor ordered and Peter Brötzmann, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Sonny Sharrock, and Bill Laswell have the 'script and they make house calls.

Recorded live in 1986, Last Exit is Last Exit's debut album and comes highly recommended to those looking for a dose of barely controlled rage. Get it in CD-quality FLAC form from Quboz.

slim's picture

I knew that quartet existed, but had actually never heard their records - probably because there are so many great European Brötzmann collaborations which are closer to my listening habits.

Having been (in what today feels like a former life) a jazz critic and later-on a jazz concert manager, I looked up what I wrote in 1984 about another Brötzmann quartet with Keith Tippett (p), Johannes Bauer (tb), and Willi Kellers (dr):

One of my eldest memories in connection with Peter Brötzmann - apart from his duos with Han Bennink - is a nasty comment from Michael Naura judging the Wuppertal school of jazz as boring, the musicians forgetting about their roots, citing Peter Brötzmann as not being able to play the blues.

That is certainly not the case. To the contrary, Brötzmann seemed to have eaten the tradition for dinner and letting it out with every note of the evening.


It was a great concert, despite the small venue and only a handful of listeners, but I do admit to the "Last Exit" collaboration being way bluesier - quite likely due to the higher percentage of African-American tradition in the personae involved.

Regor Ladan's picture

Sonny Sharrock and Bill Laswell are geniuses in their own right. Laswell as a prodcuer on the Axiom label has given birth to countless mind bending recordings.  World, jazz, blues, fusion, industrial, dub, you name it. Laswell's Material, Sharrock's own records, and those featuring Nicky Skopelitis, James Blood Ulmer, Ginger Baker, and others simply defy categorization and time. Happy hunting.

pzwief's picture

Tried to download at Quboz.  Got this message:


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slim's picture

I''ve been getting that messsage many times (my country being Germany).

It doesn't even help to connect to Qobuz rather than Quboz ;-)

Meanwhile, the only solution seems to be to look up what DOM-TOM stands for and dream of nice holidays over there ...

Michael Lavorgna's picture

...sounds pretty amazing and you can buy those across borders ;-)