Exposé Online banner

Jon Hassell — Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street
(ECM 2077, 2009, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2010-07-01

Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street Cover art

Jon Hassell's first ECM recording as a leader is long overdue, but it is an understated ambient percussion mix consistent with the acclaimed trumpet player’s most pervasive recordings. Tone and rhythmic backdrop are perhaps the two most important elements Hassell espouses from his knowledge of how to bring the best game from a sympathetic ensemble to set slack mood and atmosphere. The album’s ten tracks range from sonic sculptures like “Time and Place,” which features a backwards horn that introduces what I would associate with an African oblique skyline. While wading deeply though the disc, one can easily capture glimpses of the Miles Davis’ catalog (suggesting consistent references not only to the groundbreaking In a Silent Way but also the underappreciated soundtrack to the film Siesta). Watery piano and slight jazz inferences along with Hassell’s trademark interjections are the highlight on “Abu Gil.” Violinist also has a cool little serpentine gypsy role on the song too. The title track implies the odd Brian Eno touch as well pushing a slow tempo that disappears into musical ether. Plus Jan Bang’s adept live sampling gives the overall recording a creepy but relaxed presence. Guitarist Eiven Aarset contributes to the last three pieces including “Blue Period,” a well crafted airy artsy ballad, while “Scintilla” is perhaps the most overtly positive jazziinflected piece in the set, with bassist Peter Freeman rumbling through the sonic map. Overall it’s a smooth and careful journey for this ambient pioneer and his skilled ensemble.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Jon Hassell

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Iona - Iona DVD & Live in London DVD – Celtic prog band Iona are back in a big way, not only with their recent studio release, The Circling Hour, but also with two new DVDs. This is a great set both for fans and those new to the band as it...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues