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Zorn and Laswell have been friends and musical compatriots since they first met in 1978, and have been responsible for some of the most intense and memorable music in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Recorded in early 2021, near the end of the year’s pandemic lockdown, it marks the first time Zorn had touched the saxophone in over fifteen months. Laswell had spent most of the year locked in his apartment. Something special was happening that day—and after the session Laswell felt rejuvenated—as if all the toxins and poisons had left his body. Soulful and essential, The Cleansing is an historic meeting—and the first recorded duo project by these two Downtown magicians.