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William Hooker - Billy Bang Duo
Joy (Within)!

Cat. No.: SHCD147

Personnel:
Billy Bang  violin, flute
William Hooker  drums, percussion, voice

Track Listing:
1. Sweating Brain (Hooker / Bang) 17:05
2. Hawk (Hooker / Bang) 2:29
3. Electro / Magnetic (Hooker / Bang) 5:13
4. Unknown Island (Hooker / Bang) 2:43
5. Righteous (Hooker / Bang) 7:36
6. Blood and Coffee (Surviving) (Hooker / Bang) 7:42
7. Etheric Redemption (Hooker / Bang) 10:25
8. Joy (Within)! (Hooker / Bang) 9:39
9. Armed (Hooker / Bang) 6:32

Total time: 71:29
 
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This CD comprises live recordings of sessions by this exciting duo, from both the 1994 and 1995 "What Is Jazz Festival(s)?" at the Knitting Factory in New York City. The ambience is consistently supportive and the duo improvisations by drummer William Hooker and violinist Billy Bang are of a uniformly high order. Here is a rare opportunity to share in the excitement of two superlative artists performing in a splendid, well recorded setting.
 
 
Liner Notes

Tense passionate dancing. Like air currents… Crossing. Songs that rotate the body.
This concert, part of the 'What Is Jazz Festival', and recorded live in 1994 at the "old" Knitting Factory during its final weeks of operation, afforded Hooker and Bang another rare opportunity to show their "stuff". The two just opened the valves and let the Steam of summer pour out over the crowded room.
The set starts with an almost mischievous, military-like march by Hooker that flows into soft yet powerlul rolls. He then alternates between these two mixing and separating them again. Back to the march and a loud vocal call summoning Bang's arrival. Bang's first string of melodic notes seems to blend with, as well as perfectly extend, Hooker's opening statement while slowly lifting off to become a separate, truly melancholic yet ecstatic singer. Hooker sustains the pulse throughout.
Hooker's rough rumblings and Bang's lyrical operatic voicings continue to intensify and change throughout the set. This is music "made" and meant to be heard over and over again. Made to Be Played.
The spirit. The charm. The In/Out of this Modem Medicine. This Magic Mix. This perfect Match. A weighty delicate difficult pursuit. Handshakes in the Night. Rubbed flints forming Fire. Organized Dots of otherdark bringing forth Light. Precious gems strung on life's long line. Spinning old tales about the future. Educating the Far. Nourishing the Soul. Messing Up the Mind.
Bang lets up. Hooker, foot on the pedal, does what he does best, flooding us with torrents of sound. One can detect the simple complication of his rhythm patterns (his heart beats) early on. A never-failing conception of pre-dawn history, tribal ferocity and the here and now all adding up to true individuality.
Bang returns grinding the bow back and forth across the strings. Always anticipating the next sound before producing it in an almost metaphysical state. Always ahead of the music. Always free, crazy, settled, moving, loving. Understanding. Understood.
This music consists of jagged ramblings thru insomnia and dream... Dense mazelike grids set up by Hooker that Bang, whose techniques range from stroking to skewering, wanders thru with amazing precision, lifting those grids right off the map with short but infinite waves of unaccompanied flight... (plucking). And Hooker, no stranger to duos, knows just when to bring him back by laying out the foundation once again. And again the two mix all the elements of music, life and the uncharted, bringing us underground to the Heavens. Rebuilding the cables of communication. Confounding Us. Troubling Us. Unsettling Us with their private language. Yet affording us the privilege of listening to their conversation, thereby ultimately comforting us and making us feel secure… (but never safe)…
They call us to join them as they climb, drop, bridge, hook, bang, house, abandon, number, work and finally land, anchoring us once again to the Familiar, having provided us with a handbook of the unfamiliar. They tag and network us, allow us to receive, accept and deny their vision. They sign their signatures on our collective audio memories after speaking in every possible code. They show us that even what we know we only think we know. That reality is an unknown place. That the unknown is as real as our applause. We leave shaken but smiling, convinced that we'll never see things quite the same. That home is still Home. That the ride we've just been on has ripped open the sky and plunged us right back into our "Mother's" lap... These strange, beautiful, austere, honest and radiant sounds. This heavy, winning, challenge... Meet it.

Steve Dalachinsky
NYC, June 1996


Joy (within)
      Yesterday
                                  I am always
Wrists go BAD
We are forever
                                  composites of MAN/WIFE
WOMAN         ––
                                  touch, hold ...... 20th –––––
Music

OLD FRIEND
                                  is in the wind
                                                                    DAWN
        Nothing wrong
                                           "orchard, season"

                             Joy ––

William J. Hooker, III
 
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