141

William Hooker: Crossing Points

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
William Hooker: Crossing Points 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 Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Grey Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Grey Mirror
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 6, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Windmills" CD/LP/Track Review Windmills
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Sonder" CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Donora Autumn" CD/LP/Track Review Donora Autumn
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 29, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.