Last Exit, a four-piece avant-garde jazz supergroup, brought to their improvisations a fondness for volume and violence that makes most rock bands sound tame. In the late Sonny Sharrock, Last Exit boasted a guitar pioneer whose volcanic work in the '60s New York free-jazz scene remains a profound influence on virtually every rock soloist who has experimented with noise, from Jimi Hendrix to Thurston Moore. In Germany's Peter Brötzmann, it showcased perhaps the premier exponent of energy playing among modern saxophonists; his ferocity would later be echoed by the sheets-of-sound rock-trio recordings made by his son, guitarist Caspar Brötzmann. In Ronald Shannon Jackson, it had a drummer who combined the bluesiness of his Texas heritage with African polyrhythms and the take-no-prisoners approach of Ornette Coleman's 1970s groups, of which Jackson was a vital member. And in Bill Laswell, it had a producer and organizer with close ties to the rock community, as well as a bassist capable of holding down the musical center in a musical maelstrom. @
[Iron Path is] their sole major-label release, their first studio recording, and a record that iconoclastic critic Chuck Eddy considers one of the 500 greatest heavy metal albums in the history of the universe. But that doesn't mean you should invite all your Deep Purple and Iron Maiden loving friends over for a listening party; they won't be amused. Using the studio to their advantage, Last Exit explores sonic texture on "Prayer" and "The Fire Drum," but never loses sight of the power and energy that makes their live recordings so memorable. If you were to have one Last Exit recording, this might well be the one. But any one of their live records would enhance your appreciation of this great record immeasurably. AMG
Sonny Sharrock interview
Last Exit - Iron Path
2. Iron Path
3. The Black Bat (For Aki Ikuta)
4. Marked For Death
5. The Fire Drum
7. Sand Dancer
8. Cut And Run
9. Eye For An Eye
10. Devil's Rain
PS If you like this kinda music, I recommend you check out Kazutoki Umezu, shared here earlier.
PPS First Last Exit album (self-titled) over here.