INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The Australian MAY 30, 2009 - by Michael Rofe
JON HASSELL: LAST NIGHT THE MOON CAME DROPPING ITS CLOTHES IN THE STREET
Jon Hassell is a seminal figure in contemporary music. His fifteen solo recordings, as well as collaborations with Wim Wenders, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Ry Cooder, Farafina, 808 State, Talking Heads, Bono, David Sylvian, K. D. Lang, Bjork and many more have featured his ethereal, sometimes electronically processed trumpet sound. Describing his music as Fourth World, Hassell has been a pioneer with technology, working with digital sampling in the 1980s, before it became a bedroom studio staple, and incorporating other musical traditions before it was all the rage. Recordings such as Dressing For Pleasure and City: Works Of Fiction even explored a futuristic cyber hip-hop style. Influenced particularly by Indian classical music and the jazz styles of Miles Davis and Gil Evans, he is now an influence to a new generation of players, particularly Nils Petter Molvaer and Arve Henriksen. Taking its title from a Rumi poem, this luxurious and atmospheric recording of studio and reworked live tracks, which he calls a montage, mixes his unique trumpet sound with, bass, guitars, sampling, violin and percussion. Subtle, pulsing and dream-like, the ten compositions are a flowing invitation to a personal soundtrack. Hassell's concert at Sydney's Luminous festival next week will be a rare chance to hear a revered and influential musical figure.