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An improvised performance of solos and duos of subtlety and power for a live soundtrack to the 1920s silent film "The Symbol of the Unconquered" (Oscar Micheaux), by NY drummer William Hooker and West Coast bassist Damon Smith, here on computer and 7-string electric upright.

Hooker, William Duo feat. Damon Smith
Triangles of Force [CASSETTE]

Hooker, William Duo feat. Damon Smith: Triangles of Force [CASSETTE] (Balance Point Acoustics)

Label: Balance Point Acoustics    
Released in: USA    

"An improvised performance of solos and duos with both subtlety and power played as a live soundtrack for The Symbol of the Unconquered by Oscar Micheaux."-Balance Point Acoustics

"Most musicians know that the most important element of a band is the drummer. I've worked with some of the best but William Hooker isn't one of them. I mean, I haven't worked with him but he is one of the best. You'd have to be great to get me to listen to a 21 minute opening track of just drums.

Recorded in a nice space at a gig presumably (room ambience not attributed to a normal studio and some audience response) it is very well recorded and you can feel every nuance of Mr. Hooker's playing. The drums sound phenomenal.

I first became aware of Mr. Hooker's work with Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo (separately) but this is my first introduction to double bassist Damon Smith's work and it is fabulous. He holds down the second song, "Made Anew", and it is beautiful. An atmospheric , lyrical and a well-constructed 12 1/2 minute piece. Frankly, I was hoping it wasn't another all drum track or this would be a very short review.

Track #3, "Doorway Into Life", is a nice duet between the two that lasts just over 14 minutes. You can tell a lot of listening is going on and that these two musicians have a healthy amount of respect for each other as neither steps on the other but adds to the piece nicely and very constructively with Mr. Smith adding some electronic textures in spots via deft bowing.

"Receptivity" is the final cut on the album at just over 12 minutes and flowed so well from the last cut I had to check and make sure they weren't the same song. It's a perfect coda to the album as it's easily the most dynamic piece of the whole set and Hooker and Smith really interact exceedingly well on this.

If you're a drummer you can add a half star to this review and if you're not you can subtract a half but I enjoyed it if for nothing else than to hear William Hooker in another context and to be introduced to Mr. Smith's work."-Ed Pettersen, Free Jazz Blog

"Damon Smith studied double bass with Lisle Ellis and has had lessons with Bertram Turezky, Joëlle Leandré, John Lindberg, Mark Dresser and others. Damon's explorations into the sonic palette of the double bass have resulted in a personal, flexible improvisational language based in the American jazz avant-garde movement and European non-idiomatic free improvisation. Visual art, film and dance heavily influence his music, as evidenced by his CAMH performance of Ben Patterson's Variations for Double Bass, collaborations with director Werner Herzog on soundtracks for Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the World, and an early performance with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Damon has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, including: Cecil Taylor, Marshall Allen (of Sun Ra's Arkestra), Henry Kaiser, Roscoe Mitchell, Michael Pisaro, Wadada Leo Smith, Marco Eneidi, Wolfgang Fuchs, Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald. After many years in the San Francisco Bay Area, and five great years in Houston, Texas working regularly with Alvin Fielder, Sandy Ewen, David Dove & Chris Cogburn, Damon will move to the Boston area in the fall of 2016. Damon has run Balance Point Acoustics record label since 2001, releasing music focusing on transatlantic collaborations between US and European musicians."

-Balance Point Acoustic Website (

Manufactured clear tapes with gold foil inside, shrnikwrapped. Edition of 50.

See all items in the Cassette category

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
Duo Recordings
Soundtracks, Movie Scores, &c.
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

Get additional information at Free Jazz Blog

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Product Information:

Manufactured clear tapes with gold foil inside, shrnikwrapped. Edition of 50.

Label: Balance Point Acoustics
Catalog ID: BPA -3
Squidco Product Code: 22350

Condition: New
Released: 2016
Country: USA
Packaging: Cassette
Recorded at 21 Grandby on July 24th, 2008 by Michael Zelner.


William Hooker-drums

Damon Smith-laptop, 7 string electric upright

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Track Listing:


1. Zodiacal 19:14

2. Made Anew 12:34


1. Doorway Into Life 14:07

2. Receptivity 12:16