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MUSICIAN Born:

Jon Hassell

COMPOSER/TRUMPETER Jon Hassell is the visionary creator of a style of music he describes as Fourth World, a mysterious, unique hybrid of music both ancient and digital, composed and improvised, Eastern and Western.

After composition studies and university degrees in the USA, he went to Europe to study electronic and serial music with Karlheinz Stockhausen. Several years later, he returned to New York where his first recordings were made with minimalist masters LaMonte Young and Terry Riley, through whom he met the Hindustani raga master, Pandit Pran Nath, and embarked on a lifelong quest to transmute his teacher's Kirana vocal mastery into a new trumpet sound and style.

In the last two decades, he has recorded 11 highly influential, category-defying solo albums which have, over the years, become so widely appropriated that many of their innovations have become woven anonymously into the texture of contemporary music high and low.

While the liner notes for his 1983 record Aka-Darbari-Java/Magic Realism describe a technology-tradition balance resulting in a "'coffee-colored' classical music of the future", it was innovators in the field of pop such as Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel who—after collaborations with Hassell—steered the Fourth World idea into the avant-pop sphere where it has since evolved into myriad forms of "electronica", "new age", and "world music."

Notable concert appearances have included The Next Wave at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Serious Fun at Lincoln Center, La Foret Museum in Tokyo, the Berlin Jazz Festival, the Paris Biennale, a Japan tour with Farafina, a traditional group of drummers and dancers from Burkina Faso and a spectacular appearance with eight Moroccan tribal groups at Expo 92 in Seville to celebrate Moroccan Independence Day

Seeing Through Sound: Pentimento Volume Two

Label: Ndeya
Released: 2020
Track listing: Fearless; Moons Of Titan; Unknown Wish: Delicado; Reykjavik; Cool Down Coda; Lunar; Timeless.

Musical Travelogues: May 2020

Read "Musical Travelogues: May 2020" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Gregoire Maret and Romain Collin w. Bill Frisell Americana ACT Music 2020 The sound lives up to the title; a thoughtful, airy yet soulful outing that sounds just the way a wide-open prairie landscape looks. If it seems a bit odd that Americana comes from a European duo, wonder not--Romain Collin's ...

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

Vernal Equinox

Read "Vernal Equinox" reviewed by Doug Collette

In making Vernal Equinox available on vinyl for the first time in forty-two years and on CD for the first time in three decades, Jon Hassell's 1977 album has been fully remastered for its updated release on the artist's own Ndeya label. This first commercially released work by Hassell was, by many accounts, an early glimpse ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Roy DeCarava: The Sound I Saw

Read "Roy DeCarava: The Sound I Saw" reviewed by Chris May

The Sound I Saw Roy DeCarava 228 Pages ISBN: 9781644230107 David Zwirner 2019 Roy DeCarava was a jazz photographer, artist and Harlem local who captured everyday life in the Manhattan area with an insider's eye. Through a spare, striking use of natural light, DeCarava's exploration of the aesthetics of ...

AACM: Together We Are Stronger

Read "AACM: Together We Are Stronger" reviewed by Chris May

With the passing in 2017 of the pianist Muhal Richard Abrams and trumpeter Phil Cohran, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, formed in Chicago in 1965, lost the last two of the four musicians who organised its inaugural meeting. But with two succeeding generations of standard bearers stepping up to the plate, the AACM ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Jon Hassell: Words with the Shaman

Read "Jon Hassell: Words with the Shaman" reviewed by Chris May

Jon Hassell is best known as the creator of Fourth World music, an acoustic-electronic blend of jazz, minimalism, drone, ambient, traditional African and Asian instruments and harmolodic signatures. Hassell has defined Fourth World as “serious music with transcultural appeal and a smile." He unveiled the concept on his debut album, Vernal Equinox (Lovely Records), in 1977. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jon Hassell: Vernal Equinox

Read "Vernal Equinox" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Visionary trumpeter-composer Jon Hassell is one of the architects of what has come to be called World Music: his own preferred term is Fourth World, which he described as “a unified primitive/futuristic sound combining features of world ethnic styles with advanced electronic techniques." Vernal Equinox was his first commercial album release, originally on Lovely Music in ...

Jan Bang e il Questionario di Proust

Read "Jan Bang e il Questionario di Proust" reviewed by Paolo Peviani

Il tratto principale della mia musica Mi interessa lavorare su cose molto concrete come il ritmo, la tessitura, la melodia, l'armonia. Come dice una mia buona amica, la cantante norvegese Sidsel Endresen: se hai tempo, allora tutto il resto alla fine si risolverà. La qualità che desidero nei musicisti che suonano ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

International Flavors

Read "International Flavors" reviewed by Geno Thackara

It's a tour through several spots around the globe with this batch--sometimes a leisurely tour, sometimes a whirlwind, but with each stop offering a wealth of lovely sounds and tones. Gilfema Three Sounderscore 2020 Lionel Loueke, Massimo Biolcati and Ferenc Nemeth have an impressive number of musical endeavors and ...


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