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Congo Call

Prince Lasha with
Sonny Simmons


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September 10, 1929 - December 12, 2008


From Prince Lasha's 1962 album "The Cry".


Prince Lasha, flute
Sonny Simmons, alto sax
Gary Peacock, bass
Mark Proctor, bass
Gene Stone, drums

Born William B. Lawsha on September 19, 1929 in Fort Worth, Texas where he began playing alto saxophone, clarinet, and flute during his high school days.

A student at I.M. Terrell High School the school's music program headed by G.A. Baxter who is remembered in conflicting accounts both encouraging musical exploration and as a strict no nonsense band director.

Lawsha was part of the incredible music flowering of that place and time that included fellow students John Carter, Ornette Coleman, King Curtis, Charles Moffett, and Dewey Redman.

During the 1950s he moved to L.A. where, known as Prince Lasha he worked closely with saxophonist Sonny Simmons, becoming immersed in the free jazz movement.

The pair recorded two albums together "The Cry" (1962) and "Firebirds" (1967).

In 1963 alone Lashay also appeared on record with Eric Dolphy for the albums "Iron Man" and "Conversations" and Elvin Jones/Jimmy Garrison Sextet's release "Illumination!".

He moved to Europe in 1966 where based in Kensington, London he recorded the "Insight" LP featuring British musicians before returning to the States in '67.

Back in California Lasha and Simmons continued to work together recording under the name Firebirds in the mid-1970s.

Prince Lasha passed away in Oakland, California on December 12, 2008.

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