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A 4-CD set from NY drummer William Hooker documenting his early years between 1975-89 in 2 early LPs from his label Reality Unit Concepts, plus 2 never-issued sessions from '88 & '89; with David S. Ware, David Murray, Jemeel Moondoc, Roy Campbell Jr., Booker T. Williams, &c. &c.

Hooker, William
Light (1975 - 1989) [4 CD Box Set]

Hooker, William: Light (1975 - 1989) [4 CD Box Set] (NoBusiness)

Label: NoBusiness    
Released in: Lithuania    

"A new archive release from NoBusiness's series of important musicians and group recordings from the 70s and 80s, which either were never released before or released on small private labels but long out of print and now newly remastered.

This release is dedicated to William Hooker's early music and covers his most important works during the period from 1975 to 1989. Newly remastered material is now presented in a 4 CD boxed set.

William Hooker is an artistic whole, a vast circle of vision and execution. A body of uninterrupted work beginning in the mid-seventies defines him as one of the most important composers and players in jazz. As bandleader, Hooker has fielded ensembles in an incredibly diverse array of configurations. Each collaboration has brought a serious investigation of his compositional agenda and the science of the modern drum kit. As a player, Hooker has long been known for the persuasive power of his relationship with his instrument. His work is frequently grounded in a narrative context. Whether set against a silent film or anchored by a poetic theme, Hooker brings dramatic tension and human warmth to avant-garde jazz. His ability to find fertile ground for moving music in a variety of settings that obliterate genre distinctions offers a much-needed statement of social optimism in the arts. A disciplined, adaptive, and energetic approach to his medium insures that the oeuvre of William Hooker will continue to grow thicker and richer.

Released in 1977, but assembled from live dates in 75 and 76, Is Eternal Life, was the first of many fruits of William Hooker's activism. A double LP [heard here as Disc One], it was a brash assault on the smugness of the gatekeepers. It features the earliest recorded work of two of our era's defining tenor players: David Murray and David S. Ware.

The essential qualities of Hooker's drum language and unique approach to band leadership are heard here in their fullness. Any vestiges of beats or swing are swallowed by a smearing constancy; super fast rolls are stacked and interleaved holograpically with crashes and high hat chatter to fashion structures that are functionally more tonal than temporal. These spaces and platforms are the sonic basis for the improvisations of whomever William has brought onstage with him. These other voices - in this case Hasaan Dawkins, Mark Miller, and Les Goodson, in addition to David Murray and David S. Ware - are contained by this idiosyncratic approach to drum sound, even as they are supported and informed by it.

The second disc in this set expands the documentation of Hooker's sophomore album, Brighter Lights, originally released in 1982. Like Is Eternal Life, this record was pressed on Hooker's 501C-3 record label Reality Unit Concepts. Brighter Lights features Alan Braufman on alto sax and flute and pianist Mark Hennen, who William still works with frequently. In this set of duets, we can hear how Hooker's vigorous embrace of the kit provides a compelling canvas for soloists and draws his accompanists into territory that exceeds any contrived expressionisms of free jazz clichés. In addition to the sides that made up the original LP, the second disc contains a stellar performance with Dawkins and altoist Jemeel Moondoc.

The third disc in this set features takes from a 1988 live date at Roulette. With the late Roy Campbell on trumpet and the under-recorded Booker T. Williams, Jr. on tenor, the three tracks on Disc Three provide excellent examples of William Hooker as a composer keenly aware of the complex interactions between instrumentalists and between their lines and his drumming. Campbell was a virtuosic colorist whose sense of humor and depth meshed well with Hooker's long form constructions. Williams digs into the spaces implied by Hooker's busy patterns to build melodic extensions that bring an almost vocal-like quality to the work.

Closing out this set, the fourth disc was recorded in 1989 and also features a trio-William with saxophonist Richard Keene and trumpeter Lewis Flip Barnes-and marks one of the last sessions where Hooker will be identified exclusively with the jazz improvisation scene. By the early 90s he has begun side projects with a host of rock/punk guitarists, although his style never fundamentally changed in pursuit of these novel collaborations. Barnes and Keene are well equipped to populate the architecture that Hooker erects. His power-packed, swing-free drumming and Salvador Dali- inspired brushwork can be heard as incentives for longer, perhaps more deliberate phrasing on the part of the tonal improvisers. Keene and Barnes work together as a unit, a pair of interconnected engines churning out light and shadow, harmony and tension, in equal measure. The fourth disc is an extended solo performance called "Continuity of Unfoldment". This work is a rare opportunity to hear this very lyrical drummer/percussionist without support or augmentation. Listening here is like watching time-lapse video of a Buddhist sandpainting and may provide the high point of this very well- assembled collection."-NoBusiness Records

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Price: $48.95
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Shipping Weight: 6.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 4779022077623

Label: NoBusiness
Catalog ID: NBCD82-85.php
Squidco Product Code: 21551

Format: 4 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2016
Country: Lithuania
Packaging: Box Set
Dsic One:

Track 1 recorded on 28th May, 1975 at Columbia University, New York City by Joe Walker.

Track 2 recorded on 4th May, 1975 in performance at the Cubiculo, New York City by Carl Williams

Track 3 recorded on 5th February, 1976 in performance at the Langston Hughes Library, Corona, New York City by Carl Williams

Disc Two:

Track 1 recorded on 20th May, 1976 in performance at the Columbus Branch, New York Public Library, New York City by William Hooker

Track 2 recorded on 19th November, 1976. It is an excerpt from TOWARDS THE NEW MUSIC / Public Broadcast Special for WHNB-TV, Channel 30, West Hartford, Connecticut.

Track 6 recorded in 1980

Disc Three:

Recorded on 22nd February, 1988 at Roulette Club, New York City with assistance of Jim Staley and staff

Disc Four:

Track 1 + 2 - recorded on 12th February, 1989 live at “Chumley’s” in the Castle at BrandeisUniversity, Waltham, Massachusetts by Brian Crawford and staff / Broadcasted on 100.1 FM WBRS

Track 3 recorded in1981 at WKCR-FM, Columbia University, New York City

Disc Four: no recording data listed.


William Hooker-percussion, vocals

Mark Miller-bass

David Murray-tenor saxophone

David S. Ware-tenor saxophone

Hasaan Dawkins-alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute, percussion

Les Goodson-tenor saxophone, flute, percussion

Alan Braufman-alto saxophone, flute

Mark Hennen-piano

Jemeel Moondoc-alto saxophone

Booker T Williams-tenor saxophone

Roy Campbell-trumpet

Richard Keene-soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute

Lewis Barnes-trumpet

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Track Listing:

CD 1

1. Drum Form 18:06

2. Soy: Material / Seven 26:48

3. Passages (Anthill) 19:27

CD 2

1. Pieces I and II 18:46

2. Above And Beyond 4:50

3. Others (Unknowing) 4:57

4. Patterns I, II And III 14:54

5. 3 and 6 / Right 13:15

6. Present Happiness 16:47

CD 3

1. Anchoring / Inclusion / 3 and 6 (Right) 24:16

2. Clear, Cold Light / Into Our Midst / Japanese Folk Song (traditional) 42:32

CD 4

1. Contrast (With A Feeling) 11:56

2. Naturally Forward 32:20

3. Continuity Of Unfoldment 16:18