WILLIAM HOOKER STRING 3 – A Postcard From The Road

New Atlantis

William Hooker: drums; Dave Ross, Edward Ricart: electric guitars.

(Reviewer’s note: apparently, the promo download that was utilized for this report contained incorrect file titles; I didn’t find a coincidence with the track list and the descriptions indicated by the press release. Thus my opinions are expressed on the merely acoustic basis of what I received, without associations to names.)

Nothing better than a sip of William Hooker’s unadulterated potions to restore some faith in our belief that producing music that doesn’t wink to commercial jazz is still feasible in certain spheres. This non-exactly-hi-fi CD documents a live performance from a trio formed by Hooker in 2012, occasionally augmented by saxophonist Glen Hall.

The record is opened by a drum solo where one instantly tastes the grit and the earthly qualities of Hooker’s approach. The guitars adhere later on in reiterative configurations, halfway through African polyrhythm and King Crimson-ish interlocking patterns, lively energies expressed with no trouble.

A sort of guitar-centred raga appears, not really stylish but quite earnest in spite of a rather peaceful sax melody entering the picture. Timbres get altered by heavy processing until a modicum of controlled mayhem ends the episode. In another cut, percussively subdued chords are followed by nonfigurative effects, dissonant oscillation upon which Hooker wanders smoothly, ultimately generating a compelling outcome not equivalent to anything else. We also enjoy a duo for sax and drums, played around fragments of phrases intertwined with the leader’s enthusiastically pumping heart. A stimulating pulsation flowing into snippets of veritable free jazz.

Elsewhere, vague reminiscences of Elliott Sharp’s Carbon in a free-for-all mask are found in an overpowering mass of sound, not very detailed but effective nonetheless, an ascension to orgasmic chaos defining the finale.

Beautiful chord suggestions are distinguished by atonal hues and bluesy accents. Then, a thunderous entrance by Hooker and the others maneuvers the improvisation towards a convincing harmolodic environment.

The last track I listened to represents an ideal exposition of the trio’s cultured rawness, various stylistic influences merging in a vibrant communion. The players’ eagerness is so substantial that we do not need caring about exactitude or perfect intelligibility, benefiting from the music’s overall vibe first and foremost.

Wrong titles or else, when all is said and done this is an outstanding album gifted with sincere passion.

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