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Musician

Jon Hassell

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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

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Article: Album Review

BLOOP: Proof

Read "Proof" reviewed by Mark Corroto


The electro-acoustic duo BLOOP--trumpeter Lina Allemano plus the live-processing and effects of Mike Smith--focuses on free improvisation and extended techniques. Ms. Allemano can also be heard in multiple contexts from contemporary jazz to psychedelic music and free jazz, chamber jazz, and in solo performance. This disc is a simultaneous release with Vegetables (Luma Records, 2021) by ...

5

Article: Album Review

Gustav Lundgren: Live At Fasching

Read "Live At Fasching" reviewed by Chris May


If the Norway's Eivind Aarset is one side of Scandinavian fretboard virtuosity, Sweden's Gustav Lundgren is the other. Aarset works with experimentalists such as Jon Hassell and Jan Bang. Lundgren is more straight-ahead, evoking Jack Wilkins and Pat Metheny. Both guitarists, however, are lyrical players. If you enjoy the linear melodism of Lundgren's Live At Fasching, ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Although it has been present in jazz since the 1920s, when it was routinely used in rhythm sections, as a solo instrument the guitar struggled to make itself heard--literally--until the second half of the 1930s, when reliable pick-ups and portable amplifiers became available. Foremost among the pioneers of the electrified instrument was Charlie Christian, a member ...

5

Article: Album Review

Mauro Sigura Quartet: Terra Vetro

Read "Terra Vetro" reviewed by Chris May


Although the Italian oud player and composer Mauro Sigura bills his band as a world-jazz group which combines traditional Ottoman-Mediterranean music with modern European jazz, the band's sophomore album is not full-on, capped-up World Jazz in the manner of, say, fellow oudist Anouar Brahem's Blue Maqams (ECM, 2017). That album, made with double bassist Dave Holland, ...

Album

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.

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Article: Year in Review

Mark Sullivan's Best Releases of 2020

Read "Mark Sullivan's Best Releases of 2020" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Despite the circumstances, this was a high volume year for album releases, rich in both quantity and quality. Mine is not a ranked listing, but more or less in reverse chronological order. Since I wrote fewer album reviews than average, for the first time I have included several releases that I did not review myself.

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Article: Live Review

Norwegian Digital Jazz Festival 2020, Part 2

Read "Norwegian Digital Jazz Festival 2020, Part 2" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Norwegian Digital Jazz Festival Sentralen Oslo, Norway November 24-December 1, 2020 November 24 Silje Nergaard Silje Nergaard is one of the new breed of jazz singers who writes most of her material--rather than singing jazz standards and songs from the ...

5

Article: Live Review

Enjoy Jazz and More 2020

Read "Enjoy Jazz and More 2020" reviewed by Henning Bolte


Various venues Enjoy Jazz and More Heidelberg, Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Schwetzingen October 14-30, 2020 Enjoy Jazz is a festival that stretches across 7 weeks from the beginning of October to halfway through November in the urban area of Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg in southwestern Germany. The long stretch had ...

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Article: Year in Review

Chris May’s Best Releases Of 2020

Read "Chris May’s Best Releases Of 2020" reviewed by Chris May


Not the best year for live gigs in London, but Dele Sosimi's Afrobeat Orchestra just made it under the wire, lighting up the Jazz Cafe in late January. Rather like Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Sosimi's band has form as an incubator of young talent. A recent star in the making was trumpeter Ife Ogunjobi, who has ...


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