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William Hooker: Light The Early Years 1975-1989

Read "Light The Early Years 1975-1989" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The good news is that record executives are no longer the gatekeepers of taste and style in music today. Inexpensive recording equipment and the advent of digital music allow the artist, and the audience to cast a wide net these days. This wasn't the case forty years ago, especially for the improvised jazz scene. Studio time was expensive and the production of vinyl LPs, in the quantities free jazz sold, was cost prohibitive. Documents of the time, when improvised music ...


William Hooker: Light

Read "Light" reviewed by John Sharpe

Light constitutes another welcome instalment from the back pages of NYC free jazz by the Lithuanian No Business imprint, following on from Jemeel Moondoc's Muntu Recordings (2009), Commitment's Complete Recordings 1980/1983 (2010) and William Parker's Centering: Unreleased Early Recordings 1976-1987 (2012) box set, among others. The label has released some of drummer William Hooker's most accomplished work in recent years, such as Bliss -Earth's Orbit (2010) and Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival (2014) as well as previous documents from the ...


Take Five with William Hooker

Read "Take Five with William Hooker" reviewed by William Hooker

About William Hooker: I grew up in New Britain, Connecticut and basically was a good student, and came from a good home. I did all that I could possibly do to make my way through New Britain High School, Nathan Hale Junior High, and Central Conn. State College. I tried to get good grades to be an exceptional student as far as playing in the band and orchestra, in leading the chorus and student councils. I was brought up ...


William Hooker & Liudas Mockūnas: Live at Vilnius Jazz Festival

Read "Live at Vilnius Jazz Festival" reviewed by John Sharpe

Veteran drummer William Hooker continues to expand his varied discography on the No Business imprint, with the addition of Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival. Like Crossing Points (2011) with the late reedman Thomas Chapin, it's a meeting with a resourceful saxophonist -this time Liudas Mockūnas, a co-founder of the label. But unlike the former encounter, on this occasion Hooker avoids the all out aural assault which tested Chapin to the limits, settling instead for power exercised with restraint and precision. ...


William Hooker & Liudas Mockūnas: Live at Vilnius Jazz Festival

Read "Live at Vilnius Jazz Festival" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Did somebody say “bring it?" Must have, because the combination of muscleman drummer William Hooker and Lithuanian saxophonist Liudas Mockūnas surely delivers the goods in this 53-minute duo improvisation performance at the Vilnius Jazz Festival in October 2013.The four lengthy tracks are part of a continuous set the two seared into their audience's ears. Certainly, the combination of Hooker's dynamo and Mockūnas' lung bursting breath are present here, so is a discriminating subtle sound. Hooker, a ...


William Hooker: Heart of the Sun

Read "Heart  of the Sun" reviewed by John Sharpe

Suddenly Heart Of The Sun from veteran drummer William Hooker's The Gift looks a whole lot more poignant. With the passing of trumpeter Roy Campbell in January 2014, Hooker has been deprived of one of his longest collaborators. Campbell first appeared alongside the drummer on Colour Circle (CJR, 1989) as part of the self styled three member William Hooker Orchestra, and then later as one third of The Gift on Live at Sangha (Bmadish Records, 2005). As ever here Campbell ...


William Hooker: Channels of Consciousness

Read "Channels of Consciousness" reviewed by John Sharpe

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 ...


William Hooker Quintet: Channels of Consciousness

Read "Channels of Consciousness" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Drummer William Hooker was a mainstay at New York City's downtown jazz haven The Knitting Factory, amid several cross-functional albums for its record label. He's a freethinker, possessing a broad musicality, largely immersed in improvisation, and communicates a comfort zone whether tackling or expanding numerous world music stylizations nestled within free-jazz, avant-rock and other genres. Recorded at Roulette in New York City, Channels of Consciousness is a passionate endeavor, where the quintet aggregates garrulous free-jazz, blues, and fluctuating asymmetrical structures ...


William Hooker: Crossing Points

Read "Crossing Points" reviewed by John Sharpe

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 ...


William Hooker Trio: Yearn for Certainty

Read "Yearn for Certainty" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Drummer William Hooker can tell stories in many more ways than one. On Yearn for Certainty, he works his majestic tenor vocal chords as he recites a poem that accompanies the initial track, “Ingratiated Beam--Leroy." One track later, on the superbly crafted, rhapsodic melody of “Century's Soles," Hooker manipulates his ensemble of drums to tell a wholly different story, reaching deep into the African-ness of the origin of all civilization, as he follows footprints in the proverbial sands of time. ...


William Hooker: Earth's Orbit

Read "William Hooker: Earth's Orbit" reviewed by John Sharpe

William Hooker Earth's Orbit No Business Records 2010 If East Coast is hot and West Coast cool in classic jazz parlance, then composer and drummer William Hooker subverts that tenet with East hot, West hotter in this limited edition, double vinyl set featuring separate bands captured live on each coast. Hooker has a fascination for incorporating other art forms into his performance, be it his own poetry or films, often transcending his ...


William Hooker: The Symbol of the Unconquered

Read "William Hooker: The Symbol of the Unconquered" reviewed by Ivana Ng

William Hooker The Symbol of the Unconquered Media Sanctuary 2009

It must be challenging to play the drums solo, but it must be even more so to improvise an hour-long soundtrack to a silent movie. Percussionist William Hooker took on this daunting task with the 1920 silent film, The Symbol of the Unconquered. Presented by the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, NY, this film screening and live performance was one of ...

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