Means of Deliverance Review by Exclaim
At age 57, and with a career that includes over 700 recordings in genres ranging from hip-hop to world to funk to metal and production and recording credits with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Material, Motörhead and, well, you can look up the rest, you might forgive producer, remixologist and bassist Bill Laswell for resting on his laurels. If his first acoustic solo bass recording (exclusively featuring his Warwick Alien fretless four-string bass) is a return to his musical roots, it also sounds unlike anything he’s recorded before. The debut production by wife Gigi Shibabaw showcases an intimate portrait of Laswell as a bass player and first and foremost, Means of Deliverance sounds like a love letter to the instrument. But this isn’t a wank-fest, since each of the ten pieces has its unique sensibility. The folksy Americana warmth of opener “Against the Upper House” celebrates Laswell’s childhood in Kentucky with a melancholic yet supple performance. The buoyant glide of “Lightning in the South” is coloured with an earthy blues tone, while “Bagana/Sub Figura X” incorporates an Ethiopian string sample and Shibabaw’s otherworldly vocals into a meditative, almost hymnal groove. It takes a few concentrated listens to sink in, but Means of Deliverance is an engaging and rewarding listen for those so inclined.