Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

103

William Hooker/Roger Miller/Lee Ranaldo: Monsoon

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
You know that you are listening to something very different when the instrument that best creates a harmonic centre is the drum kit. Atavistic inaugurates its Out Trios series with a live recording by guitarist Lee Ranaldo, bassist Roger Miller, and drummer William Hooker that explores the many facets of texture, rhythm and timbre. Monsoon is a take-no-prisoners album of experimental music that will appeal to fans of avant jazz and out rock.

Recorded live at the Knitting Factory in 2002, Monsoon consists of one 49-minute piece, creating an ambience that could best be described as other-worldly. The only thing that gives it any rooting in convention is Hooker, who creates pulsating rhythms over which Ranaldo and Miller blend sounds that range from the quietly ambient to the industrial.

Remarkably, for a completely spontaneous piece of sonic improvisation, the piece does tell a musical story of sorts, as sounds ebb and flow, textures digress and then converge into walls of sound and rhythms shift. Monsoon is as good a title as any, as waves of sound build from nothing into densely-textured crashes.

Ranaldo, better known for his work with Sonic Youth, takes his dissonant playing one step further, creating sounds that are rarely identifiable as guitar. Faced with a more complete freedom, he devises sonic washes that only occasionally evolve into something remotely resembling tonality.

Miller, known as a member of the progressive-meets-avant group Birdsongs of the Mesozoic and the post-punk band Mission of Burma, contributes bass, loops and samples from Fun World Music, where he works primarily in the soundtrack arena. It is often difficult to determine whether the textural sounds emanating from the group are coming from Miller or Ranaldo.

Now nearly sixty, Hooker plays with the same sense of abandon that he has in collaboration with other free jazz artists including Billy Bang, David Murray and David S. Ware; as well as out rock and hip hop artists including Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and DJ Olive. He demonstrates a true listener’s ears, as he responds to the soundscapes surrounding him.

Hardly for the faint-a-heart, Monsoon is nevertheless a daring recording from a daring new series that promotes, as the press release says, “freedom, interaction and sonic architecture... within the context, structure and constraints of the trio format.” Judging from the first release, the trio format offers very little in the way of constraints; this recording blurs all boundaries and, instead, asks you to throw out preconceptions of rhythm and melody, and open your ears to a different set of possibilities.

Visit Atavistic on the web.


Track Listing: Monsoon

Personnel: Lee Ranaldo (guitar, effects, small devices), Roger Miller (bass with electronics and loops, fun world samples via keyboard), William Hooker (drums)

Title: Monsoon | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Atavistic Worldwide

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "For Free" CD/LP/Track Review For Free
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Onward
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "All Through the Night" CD/LP/Track Review All Through the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 17, 2017
Read "An Eye on the Future" CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Train Of Thought" CD/LP/Track Review Train Of Thought
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 8, 2017
Read "Towards Language" CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017