I came to know Daniel Lanois through his instrumental collaboration with Brian Eno, Apollo: Atmospheres And Soundtracks, in 1983. I fell in love with Lanois' own music through his singing and the heartfelt, textured songs on albums like 1989's lovely Acadie (with its New Orleans flavor) and 1993's For The Beauty Of Wynona (with its haunting sounds and stories). Most fans know Lanois as a remarkable producer for the likes of Bob Dylan, U2 and Peter Gabriel.
What Daniel Lanois brought to the Tiny Desk recalled that early work while still sounding new: He led an all-instrumental, somewhat improvisational trio based on the sort of studio processing for which he's become famous. In essence, he brought the studio out of the studio — with the aid of two great players, drummer Brian Blade and bassist Jim Wilson — and directly to my desk. The title of Lanois' new album, Flesh And Machine, describes the music well. He never says a word, but he sculpts some serious, hypnotic sounds. --BOB BOILEN