Home » Jazz Articles » William Hooker: Channels of Consciousness

3
Album Review

William Hooker: Channels of Consciousness

By

Sign in to view read count
William Hooker: Channels of Consciousness
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 sense of structure in whatever he does.

While the first few minutes of "The Unfolding" evince a purposeful intent, as Sanga's percussion thrives in the cracks between the leader's rumbling cadences, it doesn't take long before they are engulfed in a maelstrom of activity. DiMeglio's repeated phrases serve to ratchet up the tension, while guitarist Dave Ross' percussive scratchy lines add another layer of urgent complexity. Not until "Character" does the intensity let up, and some of the best moments ensue, as Ross breaks out a passage of wailing slide guitar, encouraged by Hooker's exhortations to "Talk to me." As with many of the drummer's works, the expression is not solely limited to music. In this instance the liners explain that the piece was inspired by American author Richard Wright's unfinished novel A Father's Law, and the subsequent recitation lands somewhere between poetry and plot summary.

Further light and shade follows in "Three Hexagons," as DiMeglio embarks upon a sequence of aching variations on the sparse thematic material, over a reflective timbral exchange. Bassist Adam Lane comes to the fore early in "Mother's History (untold)" belying a soliloquy of creaking arco atmospherics, before drum rolls signal a gradual ramping up of pressure as they move towards the explosive conclusion. While the passion and energy are unquestioned, some may find the stretches of unremitting power insufficiently differentiated, in which case Hooker's undoubted talents may be easier to appreciate in a more open setting, and in that regard Earth's Orbit (NoBusiness, 2010) by the drummer's Bliss Trio remains pre-eminent.

Track Listing

Personnel

Adam Lane:bass; Dave Ross: guitar; Chris DiMeglio: trumpet; Sanga: percussion; William Hooker: drums.

Album information

Title: Channels of Consciousness | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Local Businesses | More...

More

Fire In The West
Neil Swainson
Blues Etudes
Rob Magill
X (The Eclipse)
Paul Hardcastle
Ragawerk
Ragawerk

Popular

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.