ECM 2077 Last Night The Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes In The Street
Produced by Manfred Eicher and Jon Hassell
Co-produced by Peter Freeman
Released on February 10, 2009
Find it at GEMM
ECM 2077 cover
[high resolution scan]

J on Hassell discs have arrived with less frequency in the 90s and after, and honestly need not arrive more often since the artist has eloquently and consistently articulated the same vision for music from the beginning. For example, it’s been more than twenty years since I’ve listened to a new Jon Hassell record (I’ll still play Possible Musics or Dream Theory when I’m in a mellow mood), and yet the difference between Last Night and the last millennium is small: the introduction of live sampling, a jazzier tone, an industrial ambience. Jon Hassell has apparently had a large influence on a small cadre of post-modern players, some of whom (Jan Bang, Eivind Aarset) join an experienced ensemble that includes past/present collaborators Peter Freeman, Rick Cox, Jamie Muhoberac, Kheir-Eddine M’Kachiche and Dino J.A. Deane. Their contributions create what Jon Hassell sees as a “montage” of music: individual pieces creating a cohesive whole. In this context, the music is less dependent on the trumpet than his earlier works. The horn is only one element, used sparingly but effectively, sometimes regurgigated back in near-unrecognizable form through live sampling, while the bed of percussion and steady pulse of the bass drive the pieces along, and wisps of violin and guitar snake around the melodies. In listening to Last Night, I get the sense that I’m hearing Possible Musics in a contemporary, post-Passion setting. Released on ECM, which seems to have wandered even deeper into the ethereal forest of late, this is very much a jazz ambient album. Songs like “Time And Place,” “Courtrais” and the closing “Blue Period/Light on Water” may be post, post-modern jazz, but jazz they are. Last Night is balanced by large and small ambient pieces that suggest Eno’s Discreet Music (“Last Night The Moon Came”) and Music For Films (“Clairvoyance”) as well as the more obvious antecedent of Possible Musics. So, you might want to put a distancing dash between “jazz” and “ambient,” or leave such limiting nomenclature altogether alone and enjoy this for the mesmerizing hybrid that it is.


  1. AURORA    (Jon Hassell/Jan Bang)    5:22
  2. TIME AND PLACE    3:48
  3. ABU GIL    13:04
  5. CLAIRVOYANCE    1:05
  6. COURTRAIS    5:44
  7. SCINTILLA    0:50
  8. NORTHLINE    (Jon Hassell/Peter Freeman)    6:43
  9. BLUE PERIOD    7:58
  10. LIGHT ON WATER    7:59

    All compositions by Jon Hassell unless noted


JON HASSELL -- trumpet, keyboard
JAN BANG -- live sampling
RICK COX -- guitar, strings
PETER FREEMAN -- bass, percussion, samples, mixing, digital editing, liner photo
Eivind Aarset -- guitar, guitar loop
Dino J.A. Deane -- live sampling (6,7)
Pete Lockett -- drums (2)
Jamie Muhoberac -- keyboard, drums
Thomas Newman -- strings (4)
Helge Norbakken -- drums
Steve Shehan -- percussion (9)
Nicolas Baillard -- engineer
Gérard de Haro -- engineer, liner photo
Arnaud Mercier -- concert recordings
Gérald Minkoff -- cover photo
Jenafer Gillingham, Jean-Marc Lubrano -- liner photos
Sascha Kleis -- design

US February 10, 2009 ECM CD ECM 2077  


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