Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jon Hassell: Dressing For Pleasure

When I was much younger, I recall Jon Hassell classified as a "new age" recording artist. From what I knew of new age music, after hearing Hassell I had to wonder what the critics and marketing folks were smoking. With this album, Jon Hassell got about as close as he ever would to acid jazz. If I were to use one word to describe Dressing For Pleasure, that word would be "sultry." The opening track ("G-Spot") is a personal favorite - part of what makes it work is Flea's bass playing. Also of note was the track ("Club Zombie") that would become the theme for the hit TV series The Practice. Overall the album was the most risque of Hassell's career. There was always a sensuality to his music, but this album from the song titles to the the instrumentation are nothing short of raw sexuality. Several of these tracks could serve as background music for raps ("Zeitgeist" comes to mind). Something tells me the suits at Warner Bros. had no idea how to even begin to market this one, and of course the recording went out of print. I'm not sure if this is the album I'd use to introduce Hassell's work, but it's definitely worth seeking out for those already initiated. Newbies should check some of Hassell's earlier work like Earthquake Island, or Fourth World Vol. 1: Possible Musics (with Brian Eno).

Some info:

Bass [Electric, Keyboard] - Pete Scaturro (tracks: 3, 4, 8, 9, 11)
Drums, Percussion - Brain* (tracks: 1, 2, 4 to 12)
Engineer, Mixed By - Pete Scaturro
Executive Producer - Kevin Laffey
Guitar - Joe Gore (tracks: 2, 5, 7 to 10, 12, 13)
Keyboards - Jon Hassell (tracks: 5 to 9, 12)
Mastered By - Stephen Marcussen
Producer - Jon Hassell , Pete Scaturro
Sampler, Programmed By - Blk Lion (tracks: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 12)
Sampler, Synthesizer - Jamie Muhoberac (tracks: 1, 2, 12)
Trumpet - Jon Hassell (tracks: 1, 2, 5 to 7, 9 to 13)
Written-By - Jon Hassell
Notes: Recorded July-December 1993 except track 13 recorded live in rehearsal, november 1989.
Tracks (includes credits for guest artists):

1 G-Spot (5:03)
Bass - Flea
Organ - Pete Scaturro
Saxophone - Kenny Garrett
2 Villa Narco (4:32)
Bass - Trevor Dunn
Piano - Pete Scaturro
3 Kolo X (3:48)
Programmed By [Drum Programming] - Pete Scaturro
Saxophone - Kenny Garrett
4 Personals (4:13)
Scratches - DJ Grand Shogun KB
Voice - Leslie Winer
Written-By - Leslie Winer
5 Club Zombie (3:28)
6 Zeitgeist (3:51)
Guitar - Gregg Arreguin
7 Steppin' Thru Time (4:08)
Bass, Voice - Islam Shabazz
Producer - Blk Lion , Lee Curreri
Programmed By, Organ - Lee Curreri
Voice - Jon Hassell
Written-By - Pete Scaturro
8 Destination: Bakiff (4:16)
9 Sex Goddess (4:30)
Bass - Islam Shabazz
10 Buzzworld (4:28)
Bass - Buckethead
Written-By - Brain* , Buckethead , Joe Gore , Pete Scaturro
11 The Gods, They Must Be Crazy (5:42)
Piano - Greg Kurstin
Vocals - Zoe Ellis
Voice - Jon Hassell
Written-By - Pete Scaturro
12 Mati (4:21)
Bass - Trevor Dunn
13 Blue Night (Live) (7:42)
Bass - Peter Freeman (2)
Drums, Percussion - Adam Rudolph
Download Dressing for Pleasure

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Arthur Doyle: Live in Japan Doing the Breakdown

By this point, you should know what you're getting into whenever you download and play an Arthur Doyle joint. This recording features Doyle performing solo during his late 1990s tour of Japan. Doyle is credited with playing tenor sax, piano, and vocals; and of course all compositions and words are credited to Doyle. The album was released in 1998 on Yokoto Music Entertainment. Other credits:

Produced by Yokoto Shigeru

Master Engineer: Hashimoto Yoei
Photography (cover and back): Wakui Hiromi
Designer: Akiyama Shin

1. African Queen
2. Ozy Lady Dozy Lady
3. Noah Black Ark
4. Goverey
5. Doing the Breakdown
6. Just Get the Funkspot

Tracks 1-3 recorded at Modern Art Museum Sendai (11-5-1997)
Track 4 recorded at Barber Fuji (11-10-1997)
Tracks 5-6 recorded at Shuyukan (11-8-1997)

I'm not sure this recording will necessarily win over any new fans, but for those of us who are Arthur Doyle completists, it's a must.

Download Live in Japan Doing the Breakdown