JON HASSELL — The Living City (Live at the Winter Garden 17 September 1989)

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JON HASSELL - The Living City (Live at the Winter Garden 17 September 1989) cover
4.50 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Boxset / Compilation · 2023

Filed under Nu Jazz
By JON HASSELL

Tracklist

A1 Ituri
B1 Alchemistry
B2 Adedara Rising
C1 Mashujaa
C2 Paradise Now
D1 Nightsky

Line-up/Musicians

Bass – Daniel Schwartz
Guitar – Gregg Arreguin
Keyboards, Percussion [Sampled] – Jeff Rona
Percussion [Acoustic, Sampled] – Adam Rudolph
Trumpet, Keyboards – Jon Hassell
Live mix - Brian Eno

About this release

Ndeya NDEYA8LP

Originally released in 2014 as bonus material on "City: Works Of Fiction (Expanded Edition)" (All Saints – WASTDL008). Recorded in September 1989 at the World Financial Center Winter Garden in New York City.

Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates

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JON HASSELL THE LIVING CITY (LIVE AT THE WINTER GARDEN 17 SEPTEMBER 1989) reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

snobb
Very first weeks of a new year bring us an exceptional release. Two grand artists of electronic music of the 80s - American conceptualist trumpeter/keyboardist, Jon Hassell and Brit early ambient key figure, Brian Eno meet on a perfectly recorded in 1989 live album! Both artists already collaborated on the well-known "Fourth World" album, released in 1980, which gave the name for Hassell's future musical style of eclectic crossover combining electronics, jazz improvisation and non-Western rhythms.

The album's material contains a 68-minute Jon Hassell's group live performance from World Financial Center Winter Garden in New York City, recorded in September 1989 (just few months before exactly same group recorded "City: Works Of Fiction" studio album). Eno had designed an audio-visual installation in the 10-story glass-vaulted pavilion, inspired by the hunting, ceremony, animals, and weather sounds of the Ba-Ya-Ka pygmy tribe from Cameroon gathered by Louis Sarno, and mixed the band playing live with multimedia installation sonics.

This recorded material hadn't been released until 2014, when it got serious studio remixing/reworking. Still it's first release as bonus material with "City: Works Of Fiction (Expanded Edition)" reissue passed almost unnoticed. In February 2023 it comes as separate vinyl album, and it's a great chance to find a new listener.

The music presented on "The Living City" from the very first minutes recalls Miles fusion albums from mid-70s. The main difference is Miles long pieces are mostly based on improvisation, Hassell's music is more structured and organized, and sounds like a composition against Miles jamming. Hassell's prepared trumpet sounds very much as analog keyboards, and heavy studio wizardry gives to the whole music a less organic, but more contemporary sound. On some pieces Daniel Scwartz plays physical groovy funky bass, which adds a lot of life to the mix, and perfectly balances quite emotionless by it's nature electronic sounds.

Recorded during a live gig, this music sounds more alive, and more inspired then Hassell's renown studio works. Well recorded, it represents perfectly the missing link between Miles Davis mid-70s fusion and Nils Petter Molvær nu jazz from mid-90s. Highly recommended.

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