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Published: 2009/03/17
by Brian Robbins

Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street Jon Hassell


Jazz trumpeter Jon Hassell has made a career out of making music that, as he once said, “was vertically integrated in such a way that at any cross-sectional moment, you were not able to pick a single element out as being from a particular country or genre of music.” With his recent release, Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street, Hassell has not only succeeded in doing that he’s offering us music from another world.

You need not be scared, though; think of moments when the Dead would drift off into “Space” jams (without any harshness) combined with an atmosphere that is almost dub-like at times. Hassell’s offerings on Last night the moon are warm gauzy mists, swirling about a landscape that’s alien, but not threatening or cold. Moments of tension are never offered without a safe place to pause and relax.

Norwegian live sample master Jan Bang and bassist Peter Freeman are constants throughout the album; Freeman lays down lines that range from almost-funk to other-worldly pachyderm, while Bang weaves vines of sound through and around the mix. Other contributors include Kheir-Eddine M’Kachiche (lovely violin waves to us from a distance and then disappears) and guitarist Rick Cox.

Songs/movements/chapters/images shift before our very eyes/ears. Track numbers mean nothing see the moods and hear the colors. Drift without worry Hassell will keep you safe.

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