Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

141

William Hooker: Crossing Points

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
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 full of controlled power. Once again he demonstrates his facility at sustained long form invention, lending the three improvisations the feel of spontaneous composition. In response the saxophonist alternates repeated motifs extended into yapping over-blowing, with slower melodic passages which take on a majestic grandeur as a result of the contrast.

Appropriately perhaps, "The Subway" initially suggests the white noise of an approaching train, until the sound slowly comes into focus as a saxophone drone and continuous drum roll. It's an uncompromising start, but one that sets the template for this set. They don't come up for air until 15 minutes in, when the pressure eases off slightly and Chapin's soaring alto reaches escape velocity to break clear of Hooker's gravitational pull.

An incremental opening to "Addiction to Sound" evinces more open textures with Hooker rhythmically striking a tambourine accompanied by what resembles a trumpeting elephant, but which the liner notes explain as Chapin blowing onto his reed from underneath. The resultant ritual pulse inspires a slow burning reaction from the reed man as their journey continues. Pitched midway between the two previous cuts in terms of density, "The Underground Dead" includes an astonishing passage of vocalized saxophone invective from Chapin, before an attractive elegiac section for somber alto and Hooker's rolling mallet work.

Track Listing: The Subway; Addiction to Sound; The Underground Dead.

Personnel: William Hooker: drums; Thomas Chapin: alto saxophone.

Title: Crossing Points | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Live at Pyatt Hall CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Flying Heart CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Solano Canyon CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "New Horizons" CD/LP/Track Review New Horizons
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 3, 2018
Read "Solano Canyon" CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read "Kill Together" CD/LP/Track Review Kill Together
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 12, 2017
Read "Overseas V" CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Troy Collins
Published: March 30, 2017
Read "Duets" CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Nighthawks" CD/LP/Track Review Nighthawks
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 2, 2017