Jon Hassell: Vernal Equinox (Remastered)

Jon Hassell’s 1977er solo Debut ‚Vernal Equinox‘ ist remastered aug Vinyl erschienen, inkl. Liner notes von Brian Eno, mit dem gemeinsam drei Jahre später das Überalbum ‚Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics‘ aufnahm.


Vernal Equinox ist aber alles andere als ein ungeschliffener Diamant. Als Jazz Trompether ist Hassell nie besser gewesen. Dieses Album bezeichnet den Anfang des Genres, dass er selbst später ‚fourth world music‘ nennen sollte.

Jon Hassell’s 1980 album Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics, produced alongside Brian Eno, is perhaps the most common entry point in the trumpeter’s catalog, arriving during the latter’s ascendance as a pop theorist and alchemist. But Hassell’s 1977 debut contains many of the same ideas in a more muted and subtle form. Inspired by raga music, particularly the work of the vocalist Pandit Pran Nath, Hassell processes his trumpet sound and focuses on notes that change in tiny increments, giving his melodies a slippery quality where you’re never quite sure where they are coming from or where they might go next. The background is filled with quiet twitches of rattles and bells, gurgling talking drum, and snippets of bird songs, creating a bed of sound that is hard to pin down but easy to absorb as a whole. Sources stretch in all directions, from the “Shhh/Peaceful” jazz of Miles Davis to Indian classical music to twinkling New Age, but the music’s refusal to be any one thing makes each listen feel like the first one.



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