10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jon Hassell's lovely, effects-laden horn playing is the centerpiece of an aqueous and mysterious musical environment. The Memphis-born musician grew up listening to jazz, studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen, and played on Terry Riley’s In C. In 1980 he collaborated with Brian Eno on Fourth World, Vol. 1, Possible Musics, which mixed composition and improvisation, and drew on world music. If you’ve heard any of Hassell’s recordings of the last thirty years, you will probably quickly recognize his distinctive sound on this 2009 release. (The lengthy title comes from a Coleman Barks translation of a 13th-century poem by Rumi.) Hassell subtly integrates live and studio recordings to create his trademark sound, and the album also uses “live sampling,” which lets Jan Bang sample individual players as they perform live, alter their playing, and then feed the new material back into the overall mix. It’s hard to pick out individual highlights here: the whole album is so well integrated that it’s best to just immerse yourself for the duration. Hassell doesn’t sound like anyone else, and Last Night… is another fine addition to this ambient master’s oeuvre.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jon Hassell's lovely, effects-laden horn playing is the centerpiece of an aqueous and mysterious musical environment. The Memphis-born musician grew up listening to jazz, studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen, and played on Terry Riley’s In C. In 1980 he collaborated with Brian Eno on Fourth World, Vol. 1, Possible Musics, which mixed composition and improvisation, and drew on world music. If you’ve heard any of Hassell’s recordings of the last thirty years, you will probably quickly recognize his distinctive sound on this 2009 release. (The lengthy title comes from a Coleman Barks translation of a 13th-century poem by Rumi.) Hassell subtly integrates live and studio recordings to create his trademark sound, and the album also uses “live sampling,” which lets Jan Bang sample individual players as they perform live, alter their playing, and then feed the new material back into the overall mix. It’s hard to pick out individual highlights here: the whole album is so well integrated that it’s best to just immerse yourself for the duration. Hassell doesn’t sound like anyone else, and Last Night… is another fine addition to this ambient master’s oeuvre.

TITLE TIME PRICE
5:22 $1.29
3:48 $1.29
13:04 Album Only
11:15 Album Only
1:05 $1.29
5:44 $1.29
0:50 $1.29
6:43 $1.29
7:58 Album Only
7:59 Album Only

Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

27 Ratings

People... buy this! (if you like this sort of thing :-)

Gambleriver,

I must say, to call this recording "self indulgent junk" and suggest it could be tossed off on a PC is about the height of superficial analysis. Just because you don't like or understand something doesn't mean it isn't good. While it certainly isn't Jazz (per se), it is another innovative offering by one of the most universally respected musicians around. It's a sound scape that's likely to remind one of a perpetual dusk (or is it twilight?); ever shifting deep dark rich textures underscored by loose exotic polyrhythms. Like so much great Jazz, it's a piece of work that rewards the listener the closer one listens. All in all another beautifully strange, wonderfully haunting Hassell recording.

Brilliant

rclere,

john hassell once again exhibits a wonderful sense of musical tapestry, weaving together textures, impulses, feeling... Listening to these compositions, one can be taken on a beautiful river of ambient sound, provoking stillness and space inwardly. Take the time to "be" with the recording. As far as the one star review goes, I doubt given your temperament that is evident in the language you use in your review that you have the sensibility and self awareness to compose any thing other than rancor. TOO Bad....

About Jon Hassell

Trumpeter Jon Hassell was the originator and unrivaled master of the musical aesthetic he dubbed Fourth World -- in his own words, "a unified primitive/futuristic sound combining features of world ethnic styles with advanced electronic techniques." Born March 22, 1937, in Memphis, TN, he attended Rochester, NY's Eastman School of Music and Washington, D.C.'s Catholic University before studying in Europe under the legendary Karlheinz Stockhausen. After subsequent collaborations with minimalist pioneers La Monte Young and Terry Riley, Hassell mounted a number of solo pieces known collectively as the Landmusic Series; the most famous of these so-called "sound monuments" was 1969's Solid State, an electronic project that evoked the gradual erosion of sand dune formations via a tuned mass of vibrations.

Beginning in 1972, Hassell studied classical Indian music under the tutelage of Pandit Pran Nath, modifying Nath's vocal techniques to the trumpet to develop the Fourth World concept, which he introduced with 1978's Vernal Equinox. The jazz-inspired Earthquake Island appeared a year later, and in 1980 Hassell issued Possible Musics/Fourth World Vol. 1, a collaboration with Brian Eno. (A sequel, Dream Theory in Malaya/Fourth World Vol. 2, was quick in forthcoming.) Through Eno, he also began working with a series of experimental pop acts, appearing on records by Talking Heads, David Sylvian, and Peter Gabriel; in 1982, Hassell additionally scored Magazzini Criminali's Venice production of Sulla Strada, earning an Ubu Award for Best Music for a Theatrical Work.

Following 1983's Aka-Dabari-Java/Magic Realism (co-produced by Daniel Lanois), Hassell did not resurface on record until 1986's Power Spot; in the interim, he composed "Pano de Costa," a string quartet piece recorded by the Kronos Quartet for their White Man Sleeps LP. The Surgeon of the Nightsky Restores Dead Things by the Power of Sound followed in 1987, and that same year Hassell collaborated with the Burkina Faso percussion ensemble Farafina, a union that spawned 1989's Flash of the Spirit. The hip-hop-inspired City: Works of Fiction appeared in 1990, and four years later he launched Dressing for Pleasure; subsequent projects have included Lurch, an experimental dance piece choreographed by Gideon Obarzanek, and 1999's Fascinoma, on which Hassell collaborated with Ry Cooder and Jacky Terrasson. Hollow Bamboo was issued a year later. Hassell returned in 2005 with the release of Maarifa Street: Magic Realism, Vol. 2, which featured live recordings reworked and mixed with studio sessions. In 2009, Hassell released the much lauded ECM effort Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street, which once again featured material woven together from a variety of studio sessions. ~ Jason Ankeny

  • ORIGIN
    Memphis, TN
  • BORN
    Mar 22, 1937

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