142

Hall / Ranaldo / Hooker: Oasis Of Whispers

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Hall / Ranaldo / Hooker: Oasis Of Whispers Whatever challenge there is in producing music evocative of nothing, this trio rises to it with skill and unity of purpose. And the results are single-minded enough to be worthy of the utmost admiration. This does, however, leave me obliged to discuss the music without falling back on the usual superlatives. Thus, describing Glen Hall's bass clarinet in the beginning of "The Mechanism" as "brooding" might just about nail it, but it doesn't do justice either to his work or to the overall visceral intensity of the piece.

By the same token, Lee Ranaldo's guitar part on "Eyemote" might contain the faintest echoes of Hans Reichel's approach to the instrument, while the same musician's use of "audio collage" elsewhere might just have the same effect for some listeners as Keith Rowe's use of a short wave radio with AMM. But ultimately such comparisons serve only to imperfectly define the music for listeners not acquainted with what's on offer here.

Within this group's paradoxically expansive yet singular frame of reference, the Sonny Rollins original "Blue Seven" becomes something else entirely, and chances are that what it becomes is far from uppermost in the composer's thoughts. It does, however, serve to show what an extraordinary drummer William Hooker is, his mastery of flow somehow unimpeded by broken rhythms. His work is as singular as that of Sunny Murray.

What's also worthy of consideration here is the fact that the music is not always a relentlessly high-octane affair. "Oasis Of Whispers" itself displays a grasp of detail every bit as refined as the Art Ensemble Of Chicago in the days before they had a specialist drummer—though the music of the two groups overlaps in only a negligible way.

When it comes down to it, this is improvised music with staying power. Through not simply avoiding the obvious, but apparently refusing to countenance its very existence, this trio produces music whose singularity makes it both enticing and forbidding, so listeners can figuratively roll their sleeves up and get stuck in.

Visit Glen Hall on the web.


Track Listing: The Mechanism; Eyemote; Blue Seven; Conference Call; H2; Sonarisme; View From Bellevue; Oasis Of Whispers; Blow.

Personnel: Glen Hall: tenor/soprano saxophones, flute, bass flute, piccolo; bass clarinet, percussion; Lee Ranaldo: guitar, audio collages, effects; William Hooker: drums.

Title: Oasis Of Whispers | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Alien8 Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Port Bou" CD/LP/Track Review Port Bou
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Post Cool: Vol 1 The Night Shift" CD/LP/Track Review Post Cool: Vol 1 The Night Shift
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Avenida Graham" CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Transient" CD/LP/Track Review Transient
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "Caipi" CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Meditation / Resurrection" CD/LP/Track Review Meditation / Resurrection
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 8, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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