News


02/20/2022
Concert Review: William Hooker Trio
By Joe Major
Friday, December 10, 2021
Hawks & Reed, Greenfield, MA
Among the many hard-wrought facets of drummer William Hooker’s broad expressionism — grand talismanic arcs struck in bold relief; emotional tap roots plumbed to resounding depth; tetherless exploration into the imaginative sprawl — none seemed more resolutely etched at Hawks & Reed than his undistilled conviction that the tenets of his life’s ethos are utterly nonnegotiable.
Allied with Hans Tammen’s wizardly derring-do on guitar and Adam Lane’s graphic psychological stipulations on bass, Hooker appeared to proceed on a crusade. His moral imperative amounted to a pounding, knocking, driven treasure hunt for the grail of universal personal and artistic justice — his sacred “understanding.”
After a pacing, humming benediction in front of a darkened riser, Hooker lit a fuse and detonated the trio. There were instantly-released shockwaves of caged lightning, as gale-force guitar pixilation and crackling drum thunderclap fused with a thrumming avalanche of tumbling-boulder bass.
Stoking and stroking! In racetrack parlance railbirds say that — implying maximal, judicious, potentially rewarding analytic scrutiny — there are horses for courses. Same such with the prowess of these players. In musical context there were feats for seats. So symbiotically enmeshed were the featured deeds of this night’s master improvisers, for this night’s specific purview, that listeners had no choice but to be totally emersed in the fitful, manic sphere of the trio’s making.
And a spiraling, frenetic, pulsating whirlwind it was, with strings literally being stretched and twisted — the wringer syndrome — and effects pedals being conscripted into full-frontal confrontation. They were improvisers-cum-powerzisers — incongruously, a free-jazz power trio — who flared, seared and decelerated to an exhausted, organic-feeling dissolve. All of which served as a segue to each one’s alone-on-stage segment.
Tammen was first up. He strummed his hollow-body — sounding unplugged and thinly metallic — with folkish ease, an anachronism in this arena, that ironically came across as spacey. Soon enough, the yawning throb of a theremin-like warble, along with myriad other tonal and timing trickerations, could be heard emanating from his Buchla Music Easel. That techno setup infused his bravura bottlenecking exploits with startling, stuttering, electro-warped excitation. There was an aura of pure unbridled electricity surrounding his whole person, sounding as if there were circuits shorting out, threatening to damned near electrocute him. Instead, there bloomed a choir of eerie twangs and recombinant ionization — vibrato begetting more vibrato, reverb begetting more reverb. His rollercoasting self-orchestration finally spent, Tammen coasted toward the same tinny, acoustic fade-out target that he launched from in his opening.
Lane’s program slot — psych session might be an apt description, since he appeared bent on seeking a diagnostic escape route — was chockablock with bowed anguish and deep groans from mythic bowels. Sections of his suite created screechy, banshee-like choruses — generating both a wailing tsunami warning as well as the tsunami itself. Yet his basspertese breadth also encompassed cello-like passages; profiles of introspection and exposure; tuneful extended runs; and a mixed palette of melody and fractured abstraction.
As the anchor leg of this intra-set relay, an unseen Hooker once again stalked in the dark, this time summoning his adherents with ceremonial clattering of drumsticks beaten on the stage floor and a dire, stentorian beseechment that “Now is the time to understand the force we’re feeling.” He continued, adamantly, mysteriously asserting that “What was, is now, will be,” and interspersing his poetic, existence-salvaging mots, “Breath! and Sun! and Life!” Back on the kit, he posed arms crossed while laying down a no-hands bed of kick-drum and hi-hat restlessness. That exercise sprouted into a rolling, roiling, virtuoso stimulation of his toms that, when he struck them sharply, seemed to be nothing short of defibrillating wake up! notes for the unaware heart. He forged on amid heavy, concussive drum cannonade, all his hits like armament strikes, until a climactic yell of relieved release announced “Now is time!”
The trio reconvened and proceeded along their electrifying way in unabashed pursuit of some all-systems-go grand unification theory. It was if they had all been sentenced to vilification for flagrantly playing outside the lines, and had accepted the sentence, pleading no contest. They turned distortion into order; their order. Tammen’s hot-wired guitar — sizzling in lap steel position — and the quivering, vibratory force field he created with Lane’s bass, combined with Hooker’s rim-shot-palooza to approximate a righteously-earned drum apocalypse.
If drummers left footprints, Hooker would be easy to find because of his insistent, stomp-riddled, elephantine, voluminous stage presence. There was an air about his cadences that suggested he’d come to either collect a debt or pay a tariff. Tonight’s set could have served as the disputatious bartering exchange over a debt/tariff owed or due, and the way creative life essences can be wrung from the process. One way or another, Hooker was going to even out the accounts
Because, or in spite, of the uncompromising splendor with which William Hooker and company played hardball, there was an embedded, undeniably dramatic soul-baring quotient that, on this evening, let us be privy to a rarified piece of extra-sensory theater.
Priscilla Page and Chris Gibson
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02/15/2022

Symphonie of Flowers

Words are inadequate when trying to explain the process of creating music. But I can try.
What I have attempted to do with this record is to weave three sections into a whole. A symphonie. The piece begins and ends with the drum…my instrument. It’s rhythm and variations of timbre are the stabilizing element.
We begin with a meditative ritual which binds all the players to a point within where there is silence and goes into a unity. We play within that. The ensemble is created with sensitive piano and melody making its entrance.
The third event is electric. The synths and theremin improvise off of each other – with the two horns in conversation. The drum is a force inside of it all…holding it together. I saw this message from a percussive context as well. I realize that these sections are related -- in time, space and context.
I am thankful that the artists( Devin Waldman,Matt Chilton,Marc Edwards,Warren Smith,Michael TA Thompson,Mara Rosenbloom,Stephen Gauci,Eriq Robinson,Theodore Woodward,Faye Kilburn) who performed were sensitive to my directives. The “symphonie (with flowers)” is a working model.
These notes are an explanation that gives the listener “ a leg up “ on my intentions and my goals.
Drum to percussive drum.
WH.

02/07/2022
*I will be doing an extensive interview with Nathan of Ashevillefm.org about my latest recording  "Big Moon" from 2-4 EST..I hope to see you there!
WH
09/27/2021
"BIG MOON"  -  THE NEW RECORDING OF WILLIAM HOOKER - TO BE OFFICIALLY RELEASED !

 On  ORGmusic .

*****************
williamhooker.com
09/17/2021

For Immediate Release


THE LOST GENERATION: OUTSIDE THE MAINSTREAM

 


is now a movie  /  to be released soon !

06/01/2021
Coming Soon -

The Black Lives Suite / Live from the Bowery Poetry Club , NYC. TBA.

The Lost Generation : Outside the Mainstream / the film....coming soon *

Big Moon - the new double record on ORGmusic....coming this summer.
11/26/2018
In The Trove   is now live and available...Check this out...It is a really cool article....and please share it with your friends.

There are three ways of access; choose whichever you prefer for your networks.

1. To go to the site and see your image fill the screen first, go to http://inthetrove.com

2. To go to the intro page: http://bit.ly/THETROVEWmHookerIntro

3. To go directly to the article: http://bit.ly/THETROVEWilliamHooker

Thanks...W.


05/04/2018
MAY 2018 | THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD

The vision of drummer William Hooker artfully extended beyond Roulette’s fourth wall (Apr. 5th), conjuring jazz’ socio-political foundation. With the multimedia piece “The Great Migration”, he traced the northward path of African Americans and, through pre-recorded interviews, the lives of elders Nannie Lampkin and Alton Brooks, both present in the audience. The stories were intertwined with powerful music, mostly live but also via early recordings of spirituals and a haunting chain-gang song. Hooker’s band of Ras Moshe (tenor saxophone), Eriq Robinson (electronics), Mara Rosenbloom (piano), William Parker (bass), David Soldier (violin, banjo) and Ava Mendoza (guitar) shook the house with searing improvisations, painting an aural manifesto of the Black experience. Moshe played with compelling passion, Mendoza’s features were gripping and Robinson’s electronics tore up the soundscape. The leader’s melodies guided the action, particularly a blues hook prominent in the bass, often varied fluidly by the others. The music, emotively directed by Hooker, recalled the rural south sans any trace of parody (Soldier’s fiddle was exceptional but his banjo needed stronger amplification) while other sections were ethereal and expansive. Dancer Goussy Celestin’s majestic segments flanked the production and she, Jeremy Grosvenor and Hooker also acted as narrators. So vital is this epic work, right now, that a lack of future productions would be criminal. —John Pietar
04/03/2018
The interview with Joyce Jones on "Suga in my Bowl" (WBAI-FM) is now on the website for your listening pleasure - visit us !


williamhooker.com
11/28/2017
Rhizome , DC
William Hooker - For the dreamers(live at Rhizome) - 9/10/17

11/07/2017
The William Hooker Duo featuring Michael Malis
Edgefest Music Festival - Ann Arbor, MI , October, 2017 
Review from
All About Jazz

"the indomitable William Hooker for a jaw-dropping display of improvisational power. Hooker seemed to invite the audience into the performance by walking down the aisle and shaking hands with those he could reach while on his way to the stage, in a sign that something extraordinary was about to happen. Then, using a John Lomax field recording of an Alabama prison work song as a catalyst, he and Malis launched into a number of freewheeling improvisations that harnessed the emotional power of the recording while simultaneously redirecting it. Shouting "Let's Not Forget!" repeatedly at the outset, it was clear that Hooker had weighty matters on his mind—and he played like it, with periodic outbursts and exclamations to spur Malis and himself to greater heights. With a fusillade of intensity, Hooker seemed at times to push his kit to the limits, with Malis matching his vigor with each strike of the toms. Malis has a strong classical sensibility behind much of his playing, but his more untethered statements revealed a barely-controlled fury; combined with Hooker's impassioned and relentless attacks, the result was one of the festival's most riveting and overpowering performances."


10/06/2017
The Brain Wave Project is now out on Mulatta Records.....2017
06/12/2017
The William Hooker Trio performing "At-One-Ment" at The Kennedy Center's Millenium Stage (Washington, DC) featuring Dave Ross and Eriq Robinson.
http://www.kennedy-center.org
05/29/2017
Video -
https://vimeo.com/92055502
the brain wave project (live) w/dave soldier
04/04/2017
Check it out
https://www.allaboutjazz.com/il-meglio-del-2016-secondo-by-giuseppe-segala.php#.WOO2BNYXA6w.email

William Hooker - "LIGHT" is one of the best of 2016 - coming from an Italian jazz lover....and All About Jazz .
03/11/2017
Evidence, a multi-media tribute to James Baldwin, by William Hooker


With EVIDENCE; the Baldwin Suite, William Hooker pays homage to the multifaceted James Baldwin during his year. Conceived by drummer William Hooker, Evidence is a stirring multimedia tribute to the ferociously daring novelist and social critic, James Baldwin. Featuring the talents of Mr. Hooker and his quintet of world-class improvisers and dancers (Tor Snyder, Jesse Henry, Matt Lavelle), rapper AKU STYX, and dancer-choreographer Juan Michael Porter (with Jinah Parker) this hour long work celebrates Baldwin's great works and adherence to his number one conviction: speaking truth to power, regardless of how painful. An informal conversation with the audience and performers will follow the performance.

Artistic Statement:

Jazz by it's very nature is improvisational. Usually based on seeds of compositions and the musical skills and interactions of the musicians present. My performances are conceptual and orchestrated, interweaving different musical elements (compositions) with poetry, dance, rap and film. Bringing this philosophy to the new project will enhance the understanding of the subject.

'The Year of Baldwin' is especially important because many remain unaware of what Baldwin accomplished in 'bearing witness' to a particularly turbulent time in this country's history. This project is a needed step in the direction of educating many to Baldwin's philosophy and meaning (to society and art). Truly ahead of his time, much of what Baldwin spoke presaged today’s hyper politicized reality with an acuity that borders on the supernatural. EVIDENCE serves not only as a reminder of what Baldwin knew to be true but for what he saw as the path to transcendence: self acceptance. It has been suggested that this work should be presented in theaters in the Northeast as well as junior and high school students to get further visibility under the umbrella of the city of NY. An expanded version of this work will include a story-form using Abby London Crawford, who's husband was a friend of Mr. Baldwin. Her first person knowledge will enhance the authenticity of the project to make the narrative complete. Jazz by its very nature is improvisational. Usually based on seeds of compositions and the musical skills and interactions of the musicians present. My performances are conceptual and orchestrated, interweaving different musical elements (compositions) with poetry, dance, rap and film.

Commissioned by Harvestworks with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts

Testimonials:
William Hooker's James Baldwin Suite

William Hooker is a potent force of nature. His Baldwin Suite performance touched me deeply and encouraged me to continue to develop in my own potential of artistic expression and to continue to create art that encourages social change and awareness.

With every beat of the drum Mr. Hooker’s passion and fire went right through me and ignited me to the core. I was deeply touched by the ability of the accompanying musicians to express these same energies and emotions through sound. The combination of listening to Baldwin's writing together with dance and movement infused me with frustration and anger. I was lead to tears by the intensity of the performance. I felt the social injustice that has been perpetrated against African Americans, homosexuals and women. I felt abused, exploited and most of all inspired to join this ongoing revolution.

William Hooker's ability to be private in public or naked in public is exceptional. He manages to touch every soul in the audience with his heartfelt playing, as he opens the door of empathy and transcends us into his world. It's almost as if we are inside of his drum
.

Videos:
02/28/2017
Musician William Hooker presents a music and spoken word performance at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC, titled “At-One-Ment,” featuring guitarist Dave Ross, trumpeter Eriq Robinson, and drummer and spoken word performer William Hooker. 
02/24/2017

William Hooker – Aria: The Italy Project 

"Drummer William Hooker is a human avalanche of a player who’s been around since the New York loft jazz scene of the early 1970s, and who’s collaborated with figures from across the musical spectrum. David S. Ware and David Murray were guests on his early albums, and in the 1990s he recorded and performed (separately) with Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth. His latest album is an ambitious project that features Welf Dorr, Richard Keene, and Louie Belogenis on reeds, Mark Hennen on piano, On Davis on guitar, and David Soldier (of the Soldier String Quartet) on violin and guitar. The music combines segments of wild, theatrical improvisation with compositions that draw upon Italian folk music (Hooker’s wife is Italian) but take it into unexpected and wholly new realms. In addition to drumming, Hooker declaims poetry. This isn’t jazz, exactly; it’s an entirely unique blend of art song, modern composition, and improvised awesomeness."Burning Ambulance

Stream “Impro II”:

01/16/2017





Dave Ross - guitar
Louie Belogenis - tenor & soprano saxophone
William Hooker - drums
12/02/2016
Hi!

I’m pleased to announce the release of “Aria (The Italian Project)” on the Mulatta label.  
A studio recording juxtaposing free improvisations with my interpretations of Italian folk music.

Personnel for this work - Mark Hennen, Welf Dorr, On Davis, Louie Belogenis, Richard Keene, David Soldier, William Hooker

Recorded in NYC at NYU studios (2016) . 


10/30/2016

THE WILLIAM HOOKER INTERVIEW

hooker

 

William Hooker [Download

07/20/2016
Hi!

Thanks to WKCR for supporting my work on the radio

Here is the info for an interview in the past....the latest one will be posted soon.

07/20/2016
The William Hooker Duo featuring Damon Smith  -  entitled  "Triangles of Force"

on Balance Point Acoustics is out now.

This was a duo that happened in Oakland...with an Oscar Micheaux film Symbol of the Unconquered..

Check it out!!
05/05/2016
I am in AM/NY..

Enjoy

It's out today! Here's the link to the story online:AM/NY Article about Hell's Kitchen
02/26/2016

"I think of Micheaux as the Black Pioneer of American film — not just because he was a black man, or because in his youth he pioneered the American West, or because he was the greatest figure in "race" movies and an unjustly ignored force in early American cinema. Micheaux is America's Black Pioneer in the way that Andre Breton was Surrealism's Black Pope. His movies throw our history and movies into an alien and startling disarray." — J. Hoberman

*Please be on the look out for my Arts and Culture interview just done at WKCR at Columbia University with Sara..probing questions and rapport..I will be accompanying the masterpiece "Within Our Gates" by Micheaux at Joe's Pub(@ Public Theater),NYC on March 6th - 7pm...Info and tickets 212.539.8778...Check it out williamhooker.com

02/23/2016
Some videos from my Stone residency  !!



thanks to Don Mount......................and the wonderful artists .


01/17/2016
Jazz news New NoBusiness Records Archive Series Release: William Hooker "Light. The Early Years 1975-1989"

Featuring David S. Ware, David Murray, Roy Campbell Jr., Mark Hennen, Jemeel Moondoc and others.

NoBusiness Records is pleased to announce a new archive release from it’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.

Read full press release here..

11/09/2015
I am proud to announce that my website is now presenting portions of my archive...for your listening pleasure and historical significance...Just pull up the archive page on my site and ENJOY my work and the many great musicians this will present.

"Work

is love

made visible"
07/16/2015
This is a video of an intimate gathering at Funkadelic studio that just occurred.

Enjoy!!!

07/16/2015


04/24/2015
The concert of the William Hooker Quartet at Piano Magic, NYC w/ Jon Irabagon,James Brandon Lewis,Mark Hennen and myself is online....

Upcoming Gigs
Sunday, 18 December 2022 3:00 PM
Funkadelic Studios
209 West 40th St.,NYC
BIG CHRISTMAS SPECIAL EVENT AT FUNKADELIC STUDIOS ON SUNDAY , 12/18/2022. INFO TO FOLLOW ! More...

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Email: williamhooker98@gmail.com