Prince Lasha's Inside-Outside Story
AAJ: I heard Steve Lacy was instrumental in that, and that Tony Scott might have come in somewhere too.
PL: May I tell you the real story? Well, there was a time that we used to travel by car and we'd dine late at night. We'd get back in the car and travel another two or three hours to the next destination, and this was happening with John and they went to eat, and the alto man left his alto and soprano in the car. They found out about two hours later that he wasn't in the car, and he'd asked John to take care of his horns. John started playing the soprano, and that's how he found out about it. Those are the actual facts. The alto man left his hornsand this has happened to me sometimes, you've got the station wagon and you stop and eat late at night, and you don't notice that somebody is not there. John just took to that sound, and he got [a soprano] for himself. I thought you should know about that because it's a musical fact.
But back to elemental sounds, there's a musical sound that happens in Egypt when the sands are blowing that's keyed in E, F and G. I don't know at what height it has to be or what's what, but I was pleased because I had found out how they built the pyramids at those different levels, and they used water [as an element] to move those stones.
I was saying that when Joshua was using those instruments and voices, those walls in Jericho were 300 feet high, 87 feet wide and built around the city. Those are the walls that came down, and that's why the sun stood still for one day. Sound is just incredible as it was used by the angelic forces. That's why I'm telling you about the height and width of the walls. What happened was that after the Hebrews returned to Jerusalem and built their walls, they were living in plush, honeyed land and Nebuchadrezzar came and surrounded them for about 18 months, and they had to surrender. I find it very interesting to compare my work to calling people to prayer. Do you know the story of Daniel?
AAJ: I'm still trying to get all of it straight...
PL: Nebuchadrezzar was the king who ruled in 607 BC, and he had Daniel as one of his political advisers; he was a tax collector. Daniel was very smart, and he knew how to have a lot of income. All the other politicians became very jealous, and they told the king that he had made images of him in the kingdom, and would have to be put to death in the lion's den. So they told the king this, and he was very sad because he loved DanielDaniel had made his kingdom flourish, but the king had to go by his decree. And so he had to put Daniel in the lion's den. The king was up all night walking and swearing and the lion's jaws meanwhile were shutthey couldn't open. And so they found in the morning that Daniel was still alive, and the servants had to come and tell him this. The king said that it couldn't be, and that if they were lying they would be put to death. He went to look and sure enough, Daniel was alive and the king was blissful and happy and took him out of the lions' den and back to the kingdom. The king tried to throw the lions into the fire, but they were untouched because the Creator had sealed their jaws in a way that they would not even think to harm Daniel, but he threw the other politicians and their wives into the fire and they burned to death. So this is what I'm writing about in my music, and I did a duet with alto clarinet and Charnett Moffett on bass called "The Tower of Babylon. It's a long story, so we play for about 35 minutes.
AAJ: The spirituality of the music is glossed over by technicality, and not just in America but in Europe and other places too. Spirituality is a universal thing, and you can't say that Albert Ayler and John Coltrane are the only spiritual musicians.
PL: No, because when it rains on me, it rains on you and everywhere on the earth, and that's why the Creator has so much mystic beauty throughout the universe, everything is under his roof.
AAJ: But it's not always seen that the rain is coming up as much as it is coming down.
PL: Right, right. If you listen to the Africans singing, you hear that beautiful sound, and in India and Asiait's a religion in itself.
AAJ: There isn't credence given to the religiosity of music, and not just the sounds but the discipline and education as well.
PL: When reed voices unite, they're bringing together individual tones to create a harmony, that manner is concerned with the divine human relationship and we're getting close to the pulpit or the Wailing Wall. You see what I'm saying?
AAJ: It's interesting how dissonance and the contrasts of sounds are playing into it too. The contrasts of sounds build an even tighter relationship, and though it's not commonly thought, things of great contrast are often more harmonic than things that are very similar.
PL: Right. I think that has a lot of validity; we recognize that we are united by the likeness of music under the creator.
AAJ: And we're united by our differences.