COMPOSERS: Jon Hassel
LABELS: Label Bleu
PERFORMER: Jon Hassell (trumpet), etc
CATALOGUE NO: LBLC 6674
Jon Hassell’s ethno-techno, cool-ambient, post-electric-Miles style can make it seem as though his music is filed under ‘jazz’ by default. But while this superlative album bears all of the above traits there’s no shortage of jazz sensibility here either.
Hassell is one of the very few musicians in any genre to have succeeded in humanising digital music technology without making it imitate conventional instruments, and the resulting music coheres convincingly. Quietly powerful, at its best Hassell’s music grows out of the tension between the improvisational imperative of the soloist and the pulsing accompaniment that drives the music forwards.
Unusually, this album consists of live performances augmented with studio-based revisions, with extraordinarily effective results. A rare (its subtitle, ‘Magic Realism 2’ alludes to its predecessor released in 1983) and highly recommended further development of Hassell’s unique vision. Roger Thomas