"Fourth World" music from Jon Hassell
Jon Hassell has never been your typical frontman trumpeter--his horn is often buried in swirling textures; notes are shifted, refracted, repeated, and distended in a fertile greenhouse of sound.
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Jon Hassell's latest album is called "Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street," a title taken from a 13th century poem by Rumi.
Mixing laptops, layered compositions, and live sound processing, it often sounds like Miles Davis meeting Arvo Part, tuning in signals from space.
In concert, his bandmates record his trumpet sounds, manipulate them, and feed them back into the mix.
Hassell's music is the sound of references, cross-references, reimaginations, and his own distinct musical voice both on trumpet, and in his compositions. For all of his "Fourth World" global music influences, he still, after more than three decades of recording, returns to his love of jazz. On his new album, the tune "Abu Gil" makes reference to three jazz icons: Miles Dave, Duke Ellington, and the tune's namesake, Gil Evans.
"Gil Evans was a big influence, obviously with Miles (Davis), but I glory in the lush harmony that Gil is famous for, and there is a sample in there from one of Gil's records."
The sample is less obvious than the nod to Ellington, with a direct quote of the tune "Caravan." Hassell says, "There is just something about the contour of that melody. They all have this air of far-away, Arabic, or some strange, exotic taste filtered through the urban sensiblilty of Duke (Ellington)."
Jon Hassell is still sculpting new dimensions in "Fourth World" music three decades after he coined the term.
Support PRI when you purchase Jon Hassell's new CD "Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street."
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