An incredible package of work from drummer William Hooker – seminals sides he made at the end of the New York loft jazz scene – packaged in a special box that includes material from two rare albums, and lots more unreleased tracks too! First up
is the double-length set Is Eternal Life – a rare treasure from the loft jazz years of the New York scene – an early session led by drummer William Hooker – with very open, improvised tracks featuring a shifting lineup that includes work on tenor by both David Murray and David S Ware! In truth, the concept of "lineup" is a bit small – as two tracks are just Hooker on solo drums, percussion, and vocals; one more is a long duet with Ware's tenor; another a trio with Les Goodson and Hasaan Dawkins on reeds and percussion; and the last is a trio outing with Murray and bassist Mark Miller – all very long, soulful numbers that never indulge too much in the freedom allowed, but really make the most of the space in the process. Titles include "Drum Form", "Soy", "Above
& Beyond", and "Passages". Next is Brighter Lights – a great early record from drummer William Hooker – and one that features lots of freeplay on drums, augmented by reed work by Alan Braufman and piano by Mark Hennen. The best tracks are "Others (Unknowing)" and "Patterns I, II, and III", which both have a nice mixture of freeness and spirituality. The other track, "3&6/
Right", is quite intense, with lots of free jazz energy – especially from Hennen, who seems to be trying to destroy the keyboard with his playing! CDs 3 and 4 are all completely unreleased material – CD 3 features a 1988 live set by a trio that features Hooker on drums, Roy Campbell on trumpet, and Booker T Williams on tenor – and CD 4 also features a live date with a trio, with Hooker, plus Lewis Barnes on trumpet and Richard Keened on soprano, alto, tenor, and flute. And the set also finishes with one long drum solo track by Hooker – recorded for WKCR in 1981!
(Limited to 1000 copies.)