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Hassell, Jon / Vernal Equinox (Remastered)
Album:Vernal Equinox (Remastered) Collection:General
Artist:Hassell, Jon Added:03/2020
Label:Ndeya 

Album Review
DJ Away
Reviewed 2020-04-01 
A new, remastered reissue of horn player Hassell's 1977 solo debut. Simultaneously lucid and hallucinatory, wildly experimental but indebted to tradition. This was his first major attempt at creating what he called "fourth world" music, which extended the ideas of jazz fusion and applied them on a global scale, imagining a fusion of various traditional musics with contemporary electronics. Hassell studied at length with Pandit Pran Nath and performed with Terry Riley (he was on the first recording of "In C") and La Monte Young before making this album, and Hassell's raga-like horn playing and compositions are heavily influenced by Nath's vocal teachings and style. Among the distinguished performers here is celebrated Brazilian percussionist Naná Vasconcelos, who plays on nearly every track. This album anticipates—but with a somewhat more rigorous approach—the rise of so-called world and new age music in the eighties; a couple years after this Hassell and Brian Eno would record "Fourth World Vol. 1: Possible Musics." Favorites: 1, 4, 5. No words, no FCCs.

1. *(3:50)—Slow congas and shaker, coastal sounds, wah trumpet. The pop song?
2. (7:05)—Bird sounds, distant and reverberant mbira. High, streak-like horn passages.
3. (6:24)—Wobbly, bubbly organ bassline. Shakers in stereo. Close mic'd mbira.
4. *(9:55)—Synth drone. The horn here is more ominous and siren-like, but very beautiful.
5. *(21:55)—Similar synth drone and atmosphere as previous track, here accompanied by prominent congas.
6. (2:07)—Warm night sounds. Trumpet and conga miniature.

Track Listing
1.Toucan Ocean 
4.Blues Nile
2.Viva Shona 
5.Vernal Equinox
3.Hex 
6.Caracas Night September 11, 1975