JON HASSELL

World Fusion / Jazz Related Improv/Composition / Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop / Jazz Related Soundtracks • United States
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Jon Hassell (March 22, 1937 – June 26, 2021) was an American trumpet player and composer active from the 1960s on. He was best known for developing the concept of "Fourth World" music, which describes a "unified primitive/futurist sound" combining elements of various world ethnic traditions with modern electronic techniques. The concept was first articulated on Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics, his 1980 collaboration with Brian Eno. He also worked with musical artists such as the Theatre of Eternal Music, Talking Heads, Farafina, Peter Gabriel, Tears for Fears, Ani DiFranco, Techno Animal, Ry Cooder, Moritz von Oswald, and Carl Craig.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, United States, Hassell received his master's degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. During this time he became involved in European serial music, especially the work of Karlheinz Stockhausen, and so after finishing his studies at Eastman, he enrolled
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JON HASSELL Discography

JON HASSELL albums / top albums

JON HASSELL Earthquake Island album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Earthquake Island
World Fusion 1978
JON HASSELL Vernal Equinox album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Vernal Equinox
World Fusion 1978
JON HASSELL Jon Hassell / Brian Eno : Fourth World Vol. 1 - Possible Musics album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jon Hassell / Brian Eno : Fourth World Vol. 1 - Possible Musics
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 1980
JON HASSELL Fourth World, Volume 2: Dream Theory in Malaya album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Fourth World, Volume 2: Dream Theory in Malaya
World Fusion 1981
JON HASSELL Aka/Darbari/Java: Magic Realism album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Aka/Darbari/Java: Magic Realism
World Fusion 1983
JON HASSELL Power Spot album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Power Spot
World Fusion 1986
JON HASSELL The Surgeon Of The Nightsky Restores Dead Things By The Power Of Sound album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Surgeon Of The Nightsky Restores Dead Things By The Power Of Sound
World Fusion 1987
JON HASSELL Jon Hassell / Farafina : Flash Of The Spirit album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jon Hassell / Farafina : Flash Of The Spirit
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 1988
JON HASSELL City - Works of Fiction album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
City - Works of Fiction
World Fusion 1990
JON HASSELL Dressing for Pleasure album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Dressing for Pleasure
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 1994
JON HASSELL Jon Hassell / I Magazzini : Sulla Strada album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jon Hassell / I Magazzini : Sulla Strada
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1995
JON HASSELL Fascinoma album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fascinoma
World Fusion 1999
JON HASSELL Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street album cover 3.89 | 4 ratings
Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street
World Fusion 2008
JON HASSELL Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One)
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 2018
JON HASSELL Seeing Through Sound : Pentimento Volume Two album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Seeing Through Sound : Pentimento Volume Two
World Fusion 2020
JON HASSELL Truancy Volume 53: Maxmillion Dunbar album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Truancy Volume 53: Maxmillion Dunbar
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 2020

JON HASSELL EPs & splits

JON HASSELL Jon Hassell, 808 State : Voiceprint album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jon Hassell, 808 State : Voiceprint
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 1990
JON HASSELL Jon Hassell / Peter Freeman : Bluescreen Project - The Vertical Collection (Sketches) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jon Hassell / Peter Freeman : Bluescreen Project - The Vertical Collection (Sketches)
World Fusion 1997

JON HASSELL live albums

JON HASSELL Maarifa Street/Magic Realism 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Maarifa Street/Magic Realism 2
World Fusion 2005

JON HASSELL demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

JON HASSELL Jon Hassell & Bluescreen ‎: Access Codes For A Culture Of Decorative Eroticism album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jon Hassell & Bluescreen ‎: Access Codes For A Culture Of Decorative Eroticism
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 1994
JON HASSELL RA.EX270 Jon Hassell album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
RA.EX270 Jon Hassell
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 2015

JON HASSELL re-issues & compilations

JON HASSELL Fourth World Vol. 1, Possible Musics / Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Vol. II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fourth World Vol. 1, Possible Musics / Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Vol. II
World Fusion 1981
JON HASSELL Remixes album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Remixes
World Fusion 2014
JON HASSELL City : Works Of Fiction (Expanded Edition) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
City : Works Of Fiction (Expanded Edition)
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 2014
JON HASSELL Further Fictions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Further Fictions
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 2023
JON HASSELL The Living City (Live at the Winter Garden 17 September 1989) album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
The Living City (Live at the Winter Garden 17 September 1989)
Nu Jazz 2023
JON HASSELL Psychogeography (Zones Of Feeling) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Psychogeography (Zones Of Feeling)
Nu Jazz 2023

JON HASSELL singles (0)

JON HASSELL movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

JON HASSELL Reviews

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

Boxset / Compilation · 2023 · Nu Jazz
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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.

JON HASSELL Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street

Album · 2008 · World Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Slartibartfast
I became familiar with Jon Hassell through his work with Eno. I haven't yet become familiar with all of Jon's self-titled discography, but this is by far my favorite. Worldly and yet other-worldly. Hassell has apparently had a strong interest in dreams simply based on song titles and album titles from his work in the past, but here I think he has gone his deepest into the realm.

I suspect even those with a contempt for "ambient" music might just find something to latch on to here. In my case, I came to appreciate music of this nature when I got hooked on the ambient first. There is music here which surpasses mere "wallpaper". Challenge yourselves and you may be rewarded.

JON HASSELL Dressing for Pleasure

Album · 1994 · Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop
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js
In the early 80s Jon Hassel made a name for himself by releasing recordings that mixed his odd Kiranic influenced trumpet melodies with ancient earthy poly-rhythms on the ghatan and congas. Although there was nothing trendy or shallow about Hassell's music, it came at the right time to ride a wave of world beat enthusiasm from the newly moneyed yuppie class who were also digging King Sunny Ade, Black Uhuru and Eno-Byrne's 'Bush of Ghosts' album. In fact Hassell found himself playing a few of his unique solos on Eno and Byrne's highly acclaimed Talking Heads album, 'Remain in Light'. Fast forward to 1994 and trip-hop and acid jazz are all the rage when who should appear with his first recording in four years? Since I found this CD in a DJ shop I was sure this was Hassell's shot at the new hip-hop flavored jazz that was dominating both the DJ/electronica and jazz scenes at the time. Hassell's mix of upbeat hip-hop rhythms, courtesy of drummer extraordinaire Brain, and samples and sounds from all over the world is successful in places, but ends up being neither a great trip-hop album nor a great world beat oddity as sometimes the two elements seem to work against each other. The best looped hip- hop tunes succeed when the riffs have that extra punch and immediacy that really drive the point home. You can never go wrong looping anything by the early 70s James Brown, those riffs have an immediate impact and urgency that can't be ignored and insist on some sort of bodily or mental involvement. Jon, despite his brainy and complex arrangements forgot to supply the minimalist melodic snippets that make this sort of thing take off, instead we get sounds from Africa, India or Jon's stack of polysynths that concentrate too much on building exotic textures but forget that great music in any genre is still melody and rhythm first, then texture.

Despite the aforementioned criticisms, sometimes this CD does deliver some fresh and original acid jazz from outside the prevailing trends of the time. 'Kolo X' features saxophonist Kenny Garret with Hassell for some nice be-bop flavored unisons against an irresistible rhythm. 'Buzzword' matches a compressed distorted guitar riff that recalls Phil Manzenera, with Hassell's Miles type screams on the trumpet and some harsh buzzing sounds that recalls those old annoying electronic mosquito zappers. This one really rocks and is a lot more fun than most of the others.

This isn't a bad CD, but it lacks the perfect arrangements and direct punch that was a part of the best trip-hop music from this era.

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