Prince Lasha

William B. Lawsha, better known as Prince Lasha (/ləˈʃ/), (September 10, 1929 – December 12, 2008) was an American jazz alto saxophonist, baritone saxophonist, flautist, clarinetist and English horn player.

He was born in Fort Worth, Texas, where he came of age studying and performing alongside fellow I.M. Terrell High School students John Carter, Ornette Coleman, King Curtis, Charles Moffett, and Dewey Redman.

Lasha moved to California during the 1950s. In the 1960s, he was active in the burgeoning free jazz movement, of which his Fort Worth cohort Ornette Coleman was a pioneer. Lasha recorded with Eric Dolphy (Iron Man and Conversations, both in 1963) and the Elvin Jones/Jimmy Garrison Sextet featuring McCoy Tyner (Illumination!, also in 1963).

Lasha moved to Europe and in 1966 was based in Kensington, London, The album Insight (1966) by the Prince Lasha Ensemble was recorded in England and featured local musicians, including Bruce Cale, Dave Willis, Jeff Clyne, Rick Laird, Joe Oliver (drums), David Snell (harp), Mike Carr, Stan Tracey, John Mumford (trombone) and Chris Bateson (trumpet).

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