Max Lässer

View video with Busi from Rouvanne's blog
Max Lasser

Born in 1950, Max Lässer has long been one of the most successful and creative of Swiss guitarists. A professional musician since 1972, his early years were devoted to folk music, and as his music started to evolve he spent many happy and successful years working with Toni Vescoli. In the mid-eighties, Lässer was part of Andreas Vollenweider & Friends, with whom he toured Europe and America, playing some 80 gigs. Following this he went on to play as a jobbing guitarist for the likes of Vollenweider and Stephan Eicher, and as a producer for Jellyfish Kiss and Les Reines Prochaines. Lässer's highly individual and quite unmistakable sound was fully realised with 4 of his albums by 'Max Lässer's Ark'. Earthwalk, his 1987 album, made its way to the top of the American jazz charts, but it is only recently that Lsser realised how well known this music was and still is in the townships of South Africa. 


  1. Between


The album Between (BW103) was originally planned as a solo project, but then Max got a shot of Afro-rhythm while recording on Robert Trunz's invitation in Johannesburg with local musicians from the MELT family. He followed the album and its rhythm by touring Switzerland with such artists as Pops Mohamed, Busi Mhlongo, members of Amampondo including Lungwisa Plaatjies, Dizu Plaatjies, Mzwandile Qotoyi and Simpiwe Matole, all of whom appear on the album, Between, along with the likes of Jessica Lauren, Sipho Gumede and Mabi Thobejane. Max's continuing love affair with South African music and people has culminated in further collaborations with South African guitarist Madala Kunene and Lungiswa on the unique album Madamax (BW2119) compared by many journalists with Ali Faka Toure's work with Ry Cooder.. The collaboration came about when Max was in South Africa and MELT founder Robert Trunz got the twomaster guitarists together in Downtown Studios in Johannesburg. The second album of the two accomplished guitarist, BAFO, released in September 2005 was joined by Madala's long time friend and bass player Sibusiso Bernard Mndaweni.Max and Madala are unique guitarist, both have their own style and yet when playing together the result is something else, something "primordial and confrontational." The two artists complement each other in an extraordinary way, and this album can only be described as an organic unity of the best of two cultures, or as Max describes it: "a perfect marriage." Max says that meeting Madala was like finding a brother from another culture and part of the world, "He really opened my heart to African music and to a different view of playing music than I was used to. He really made me play some of my best yet." Robert Trunz has described the collaboration as an "epiphany" a "profound connection" between Europe and Africa. Visit Max Lässer's personal website