THE other night I was invited to the Silver Lake home of producer Daniel Lanois, who (best known for his work with Dylan, U2 and Emmylou Harris) has a new record of his own coming. I went partly because of the involvement of Brian Blade, mostly known as a jazz drummer.
Blade played with Wayne Shorter’s group at Disney Hall not long ago and stole the show. Lanois’s playing — piano, electric guitar, various kinds of electronic sounds — was often interesting, especially accompanied by abstract short films projected behind him, but Blade did it again: His understated playing and use of polyrhythms made me forget anyone else was in the room. Musicians: Beware of this guy. He is a dangerous figure who will subtly eclipse you.
I must admit that Lanois floored me and the rest of the crowd with his eerie and eloquent steel-guitar playing.
The Lanois record Flesh and Machine — and the man himself came across as a good-natured and sincere guy — comes out later this month on Anti- Records.