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Prince Lasha and Wanda Sabir

William B. Lawsha, better known as Prince Lasha (pronounced "La-shay") (September 10, 1929 - December 12, 2008[1]), was an American jazz alto saxophonist, flutist, and clarinetist. He came of age in Fort Worth, Texas studying and performing alongside fellow musicians John Carter, Ornette Coleman, King Curtis, Charles Moffett, and Dewey Redman.[2][3]

Lasha moved to California during the 1950s. In the 1960s, Prince Lasha was active in the burgeoning free jazz movement, of which his Fort Worth cohort Ornette Coleman was a pioneer. Lasha worked closely with saxophonist Sonny Simmons, with whom he recorded two albums, The Cry and Firebirds, for Contemporary Records. Lasha also appeared on recordings by Eric Dolphy (Iron Man) and the Elvin Jones/Jimmy Garrison Sextet (Illumination!). In the 1970s, Lasha and Simmons made additional recordings under the name Firebirds. In 2005, Lasha recorded the album The Mystery of Prince Lasha with the Odean Pope Trio.[3] Lasha died on December 12, 2008 in Oakland, California.[1]



As leader

  • The Cry! - Contemporary Records, 1962
  • Insight - CBS (UK only), 1966
  • Firebirds with Sonny Simmons - Contemporary Records, 1967
  • Firebirds, Live At The Berkeley Jazz Festival - Birdseye Records, 1974
  • And Now Music - Daagnim Records, 1983
  • The Mystery of Prince Lasha with the Odean Pope Trio - CIMP, 2005

As sideman

With Eric Dolphy

With Elvin Jones / Jimmy Garrison

  • Illuminations! (1963)


  1. ^ a b Sabir, Wanda (2008-12-19). "Wanda’s Picks for Dec. 19". San Francisco Bay View. Retrieved 2008-12-24.  
  2. ^ Cook, Richard and Brian Morton. "Prince Lasha." The Penguin Guide to Jazz on Compact Disc. 3rd. ed. New York: Penguin Books USA, 1996. ISBN 0-14-051368-X
  3. ^ a b Rusch, Robert D. (2005). Release notes for The Mystery of Prince Lasha by Prince Lasha (CD notes). Redwood, New York: C.I.M.P. (CIMP 330).

External links

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