KFJC 89.7FM
Album Review

Hooker, William – “Heart of The Sun” – [Engine]

abacus   4/9/2014   CD, Jazz

WilliamHooker_425

Trio under direction of thunderous rumble drummer William Hooker with David Soldier on violin, banjo and guitar and Roy Campbell on trumpet, pocket trumpet and flute. The instrumental interplay presents a classical/folky sort of aesthetic that hearkens to Ayleresque sort of traditions, with simple motifs of warm melodies played with a fiery spiritual fervor. Cerebral but not challenging, not shrieky sort of jazz but a more primordial, universal human feel to it. The cultural flavors range from Mesopotamia to Iberia, with a time-span about the same. Soldier really drives the spice with the different instrumentation, injecting Spanish influence on 5 with the fluttery flamenco guitar that draws out Campbell’s matador trumpet flair, or on 3 really driving that old-timey feel with banjo while still sitting comfortably in a jazz setting. Hooker’s tumult of ancient tribal drumming fills every ounce of space with rolls and rolls of tom thunder, maintaining a visceral raw energy while never blasting away. This definitely strays far beyond the conventions of most modern jazz, straight or not, and because of this, not despite, I think it could be accessible to all listeners, jazz or not.

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