312

Jon Hassell: Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street

Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
Jon Hassell: Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street One of the most significant American composer/musicians of the late twentieth century, Jon Hassell, has served as a synthesist, catalyst, and eventually a sound painter and innovator. He has, over the course of his career, unleashed a stunning new vocabulary that still resounds today in the playing of artists including Nils Petter Molvaer, Arve Henriksen, Paolo Fresu and Erik Truffaz and a plethora of electronic music adventurers such as Orb, Howie B, and Tricky.

By drawing on aspects of music from Africa and Asia, he continually fashions a new model that he's named Fourth World Music. It is an innovative world of sounds,blending different ethnic styles with electronic techniques that, at the same time, evoke both the primitive and the futuristic. Ever since his first releases in the early 1970s his music has hovered on a spectral plane somewhere between ambient, tribal, jazz, classical and electronic music. Hassell has fashioned some of the most beautiful, mysterious and crucial recordings of this era.

Each album is a continuation in his exploration of new sonic landscapes, and Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street is pretty much in the same vein. The title was inspired by a poem from the 13th-century Persian poet Jalaluddin Rumi. On first listen, Last Night might not seem that different from other recent efforts, but successive listens enhance the simple spaciousness that permeates these ten tracks. Hassell's playing is immediately recognizable for its combination of fierce emotion and breathy texture, extracting sounds that are quite unlike anything heard from the trumpet. Here he creates a rich blend of compositional textures of subtle collages that gently ripple through the senses.

The album has all the trademarks of his previous work. Hassell exploits the sounds and compositional techniques that he continues to refine: long, slow melodies drawn out of overtones and partials; implied subtle rhythms built from pulses of electronic tones, third-world percussion, samples, and flowing sheets of synth sounds. Hassell and his collaborators embark on a languid sound odyssey with an invitingly hypnotic atmosphere, where conventional perceptions of the passage of time are temporarily suspended. In his own words, Last Night is described as "a continuous piece, almost symphonic, with a cinematic construction."

With every new release Hassell proves that he is a master sound painter. There's no need to classify his music as there are no maps for the territories in which he is heading. Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street is one of those rare albums that can actually broaden the horizon of the senses.

Track Listing: Aurora; Time and Place; Abu Gil; Last Night the Moon Came; Clairvoyance; Courtrais; Scintilla; Northline; Blue Period; Light on Water.

Personnel: Jon Hassell: trumpet (1-4, 6, 8-10), keyboard (3, 6); Peter Freeman: bass (1-6, 8-10), percussion (2), guitar (7), samples (9); Jan Bang: live sampling; Rick Cox: guitar (1, 2, 4, 7, 9), strings (4); Jamie Muhoberac: keyboard (1, 2, 4, 9), drums (4, 9); Kheir Eddine M'Kacich: violin (2-5, 7); Pete Lockett: drums (2); Eivind Aarset: guitar (3, 8- 10); Helge Norbakken: drums (3, 8, 10); Thomas Newman: strings (4); Dino J. A. Deane: live sampling (6, 7); Steve Shehan: percussion (6, 9).

Title: Last Night The Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes In The Street | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: ECM Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "For King & Country" CD/LP/Track Review For King & Country
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Smooth Shake" CD/LP/Track Review Smooth Shake
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Prairie Burn" CD/LP/Track Review Prairie Burn
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Electric Ascension" CD/LP/Track Review Electric Ascension
by John Sharpe
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Live At The Open Gate" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Open Gate
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 13, 2016
Read "Alpha Nebula Expanded: The Monster Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Alpha Nebula Expanded: The Monster Peace
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 17, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.