Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

212

William Hooker Trio: Yearn for Certainty

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
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. These are the highlights of this album and also present the two sides of Hooker's artistry.

As he recites, there is a quirky breakup of the lines—obviously following the poem as it is written—but developing a swaggering rhythm that mimics his own approach to drumming. Hooker then returns, on the following track, to his traditional role as drummer, with anything but a traditional exposition of his skills. Both tracks deal with the irony of progress, as the artist walks along the path that brings civilization to that point in time when it is time to take a hard look at what really has been achieved. If this sounds heavy and ponderous, it is—at least in "Ingratiated Beam—Leroy," the one saving grace being that which is mostly ignored through the ages—art. The power in "Century's Soles" lies in the drumming that is constantly broken up by the bombs that Hooker delivers on the bass drum, and the counterpoint provided by Sabir Mateen's saxophone and guitarist David Soldier, who returns here with a bluegrass-like banjo.

Why spend so much space on a miniature dissertation about just these two tracks? Because they both set up the epic music of "Majistrait," a devastating indictment of the new colonial thing called capitalism, and the other epic track, "Yearn for Certainty," a moving piece that sets up the ensemble for a veritable journey to the centre of the current human condition—bereft of anything that it might have to find a semblance of steadiness. On "Majistrait," there is a superb interaction between the musicians, with Hooker's percussion and Soldier—who employs every stringed instrument at his command—snaking in and around each other's musical space, as both of them weave intricate tapestries with Mateen's filigreed clarinet. Hooker's thunderous percussion here is only interrupted by his primordial cries, mirrored by Soldier's wailing violin.

"Yearn for Certainty" presents sweeping vistas at the opposite end of the world—in America, where the ensemble discovers that sense of longing for what is tangible and true. Reeds and woodwinds, and strings play the part of the yearning, while Hooker's masterful drumming conjures up images of disconnect between certainty and the dislocation, spinning from the two ends playing off against the middle. Then Hooker bursts in, as he comments on the degeneration of all music, into a morass that is unrecognizable as art, before he explodes again on his drums to set things right.

The energy of the music is as significant as the medium and the message. Hooker, Soldier and Mateen break every barrier—musical or otherwise—to embed their music in the mind, where it rightfully belongs.

Track Listing: Ingratiated Beam--Leroy; Century's Soles; Commonplace Travel; Majistrait; Yearn for Certainty.

Personnel: William Hooker: drums, spoken word; David Soldier: classical guitar, mandolin, banjo, violin; Sabir Mateen: alto saxophone, flute, clarinet.

Title: Yearn for Certainty | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Engine Studios

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Take Five With...
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Film Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Read more articles
Light - The Early Years 1975-1989

Light - The Early...

NoBusiness Records
2016

buy
Live at Vilnius Jazz Festival

Live at Vilnius Jazz...

NoBusiness Records
2014

buy
Channels of Consciousness

Channels of...

NoBusiness Records
2013

buy
Heart Of The Sun

Heart Of The Sun

Black Saint
2013

buy
Crossing Points

Crossing Points

NoBusiness Records
2011

buy
Yearn for Certainty

Yearn for Certainty

Engine Studios
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
Theia
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019
Read Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You Album Reviews
Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You
By Dan McClenaghan
May 24, 2019
Read Nexus Album Reviews
Nexus
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
Luminária
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019