The Australian - Jan Bang "And Poppies From Kandahar"


Those lucky enough to have been at the Sydney Opera House in June last year for Brian Eno's Vivid festival witnessed the unique Australian concert of legendary US trumpeter Jon Hassell.

His quartet featured two Norwegian musicians also at the forefront of contemporary music: sampler Jan Bang and guitarist Eivind Aarset. Bang has pioneered live sampling, snatching fragments of melodies, rhythms and beats, reinterpreting those sounds and inserting them back into the performance. Previous collaborations have been with Bugge Wesseltoft, Sidsel Endresen and Dhafer Youssef, and along with Erik Honore he started the internationally reputed annual Punkt festival in Norway.

Bang's most recent work has been with three trumpeters at the forefront of contemporary music. He worked with Hassell on 2009's Last Night the Moon Came Dropping its Clothes in the Street, Nils Petter Molvaer on the excellent Hamada and Arve Henriksen on Cartography, contributing and processing sound. All three participate here, playing and providing samples, along with guitarist Aarset and Honore.

There are references in Passport Control and Ululations to Hassell's 1983 classic Aka Darbari Java, while Molvaer's trumpet floats over the exquisite and elegiac Robert Schumann-inspired Abdication and Coronation, reminiscent of Henriksen's Sorrow and its Opposite on Cartography.
Michael Rofe

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