Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street

Jon Hassell

CD17,90 out of print
2-LP34,90 out of print

25 years after his highly influential “Power Spot” album, Jon Hassell returns to ECM with his collective Maarifa Street and some spacious Fourth World dub-montage music, his uniquely vocal trumpet sailing forth into mysterious soundscapes. Jon Hassell describes “Last night the moon” as “a continuous piece, almost symphonic, with a cinematic construction” and drifting “clouds made out of many motifs”. Core material is drawn from a session at Studios La Buissonne near Avignon in April 2008, with detail added in Los Angeles in November and December. Live recordings from Courtrais, Belgium and London, as well as a remix of a piece originally created for a Wim Wenders movie, are also integrated into the atmospheric, filmic flow, along with short samples snared throughout 2008.

Featured Artists Recorded

2007-2008

  • 1Aurora
    (Jan Bang, Jon Hassell)
    05:22
  • 2Time And Place
    (Jon Hassell)
    03:48
  • 3Abu Gil
    (Jon Hassell)
    13:04
  • 4Last Night The Moon Came
    (Jon Hassell)
    11:15
  • 5Clairvoyance
    (Jon Hassell)
    01:05
  • 6Courtrais
    (Jon Hassell)
    05:44
  • 7Scintilla
    (Jon Hassell)
    00:50
  • 8Northline
    (Jon Hassell, Peter Freeman)
    06:43
  • 9Blue Period
    (Jon Hassell)
    07:42
  • 10Light On Water
    (Jon Hassell)
    08:16
25 years after his last ECM recording, the highly-influential “Power Spot” (recorded in 1983/84), Jon Hassell returns to the label with a new album - issued to coincide with the trumpeter’s first US tour in two decades.

“Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street” takes its title from a line from a 13th century poem by Jalaluddin Rumi:

“Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street.
I took it as a sign to start singing.
Falling up into the bowl of sky.”

The striking, almost surreally-vivid image (in Coleman Barks’ contemporary translation) seems to speak to Hassell’s aural re-imaginings. His own ‘singing’ opens up new angles of vision, as his very vocal trumpet lines are reframed in works that contrast, combine, or melt together aspects of ancient and hypermodern idioms in a musical meta-language which can embrace sounds from all the compass points, sounds of the city, sounds of the natural world. In the past Hassell’s termed his personal genre Fourth World: by any name inspirational, its implications have registered with pop and rap and jazz artists as well as classical chamber musicians and filmmakers… And purely as an instrumentalist, Hassell’s influence has been widely felt, too. Nils Petter Molvaer , Arve Henriksen and Paolo Fresu are but three ECM-associated trumpeters who acknowledge a debt to the liquid tone and weightless, floating quality of Jon Hassell’s trumpet improvisations, and to his pioneering use of electronics in tandem with his horn.

Hassell describes the music of “Last night the moon” as “a continuous piece, almost symphonic, with a cinematic construction” and drifting “clouds made out of many motifs” . Core material is drawn from a session at Studios La Buisonne near Avignon in April 2008, with detail added in Los Angeles in November and December. Live recordings from Courtrais, Belgium and London, as well as a remix of a piece originally created for a Wim Wenders movie, are also integrated into the atmospheric, filmic flow, along with short samples snared throughout 2008.

Jon Hassell: “The word ‘montage’ pops out of my memory bank...Not only does it describe the little montages that serve as transitions between longer pieces (themselves montages of motifs that keep reappearing in new contexts) but the music presented here is a montage of the last years of concerts and the changing cast of the group I call Maarifa Street – all musicians who have contributed their personalities – the way an actor does to a film – to this living, morphing process that occasionally gets set down as a ‘record’.”