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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

William Hooker & Liudas Mockūnas: Live at Vilnius Jazz Festival

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Did somebody say “bring it?" Must have, because the combination of muscleman drummer William Hooker and Lithuanian saxophonist Liudas Mockūnas surely delivers the goods in this 53-minute duo improvisation performance at the Vilnius Jazz Festival in October 2013.The four lengthy tracks are part of a continuous set the two seared into their audience's ears. Certainly, the combination of Hooker's dynamo and Mockūnas' lung bursting breath are present here, so is a discriminating subtle sound. Hooker, a musical omnivore, can be heard in both intimate and avant-rock settings. His ability to change his stripes depending on the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

William Hooker: Heart of the Sun

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Suddenly Heart Of The Sun from veteran drummer William Hooker's The Gift looks a whole lot more poignant. With the passing of trumpeter Roy Campbell in January 2014, Hooker has been deprived of one of his longest collaborators. Campbell first appeared alongside the drummer on Colour Circle (CJR, 1989) as part of the self styled three member William Hooker Orchestra, and then later as one third of The Gift on Live at Sangha (Bmadish Records, 2005). As ever here Campbell mixes speedy proto bebop outbursts with an earthy lyricism, this last trait being particularly appropriate as Hooker, in what seems ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

William Hooker: Channels of Consciousness

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On the face of it the title couldn't be more apt, as drummer William Hooker leads his four accomplices through an organically unfurling invention fashioned from their collective streams of consciousness. But a closer listen betrays signs of premeditation, not least in trumpeter Chris DiMeglio's wistful reiterated motif which reappears at regular junctures during the continuous 68-minute performance. Other evidence comes from the presence of an overarching form, as intricate drum and percussion grooves bookend the piece captured live at Roulette in March 2010. That's not a surprise as experience suggests that Hooker marshals his resources to engender a strong ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

William Hooker Quintet: Channels of Consciousness

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Drummer William Hooker was a mainstay at New York City's downtown jazz haven The Knitting Factory, amid several cross-functional albums for its record label. He's a freethinker, possessing a broad musicality, largely immersed in improvisation, and communicates a comfort zone whether tackling or expanding numerous world music stylizations nestled within free-jazz, avant-rock and other genres. Recorded at Roulette in New York City, Channels of Consciousness is a passionate endeavor, where the quintet aggregates garrulous free-jazz, blues, and fluctuating asymmetrical structures during the free-form jazz pieces. “Lower Interlude" is in fact, a program interlude, featuring Hooker's duet with percussionist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

William Hooker: Crossing Points

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After his well-received Earth's Orbit (No Business Records, 2010), drummer/composer William Hooker raids the archives for Crossing Points, drawn from a 1992 New York City date with saxophonist Thomas Chapin. The drummer has straddled the free jazz and noise camps, but here almost merges the two in a 76-minute program where the energy levels barely move out of the red. Chapin, whose early death from leukemia in 1998, at the age of 40, thwarted a career that sought to gloriously integrate downtown experimentalism into the mainstream, digs deep just to hold on. Hooker is elemental, a roaring undertow ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

William Hooker Trio: Yearn for Certainty

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Drummer William Hooker can tell stories in many more ways than one. On Yearn for Certainty, he works his majestic tenor vocal chords as he recites a poem that accompanies the initial track, “Ingratiated Beam--Leroy." One track later, on the superbly crafted, rhapsodic melody of “Century's Soles," Hooker manipulates his ensemble of drums to tell a wholly different story, reaching deep into the African-ness of the origin of all civilization, as he follows footprints in the proverbial sands of time. These are the highlights of this album and also present the two sides of Hooker's artistry. As ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

William Hooker: Earth's Orbit

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William Hooker Earth's Orbit No Business Records 2010 If East Coast is hot and West Coast cool in classic jazz parlance, then composer and drummer William Hooker subverts that tenet with East hot, West hotter in this limited edition, double vinyl set featuring separate bands captured live on each coast. Hooker has a fascination for incorporating other art forms into his performance, be it his own poetry or films, often transcending his free jazz roots to encompass rock and noise sensibilities in the process. But on these sides he focuses firmly on ...



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